Francine Bills
Owner and Manager of Art Works

Francine established Art Works at the Arts Centre of Christchurch in 1991. Under Francine’s management and before the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Art Works grew to exhibit the paintings and photography of more than forty local artists. It provided opportunities to lesser known and emerging artists to exhibit their work that dealer galleries did not.

Francine is always watching for new trends in art and in what appeals to customers, in order to give Art Works a point of difference. An example was the large range of photography permanently on display, which is seldom seen in other galleries.

Around the administration needs of the gallery Francine tried to fit in time to create her unusual and humorous art work. Under the influence of her children she has created Escapist Art on fabric which includes paintings of babies with their mouths firmly zipped shut! From painting on fabric she has branched out to ink drawings on paper and acrylics on canvas of people and places. But she has kept her quirky style using vibrant colours in ways totally unexpected.

As an artist herself, Francine enjoys the opportunities to share ideas with her artists and with other artisans. And as a business owner she knows the value that tourists and locals place on high levels of service and product knowledge. Many times she has seen the pleasure customers feel when they meet the artist who created the art work they have chosen to buy.

After the earthquakes, Art Works spent almost two years based at Arts Central on Peterborough Street. Now Francine has the challenge of finding new premises for Art Works to continue on from where it left off!