Our current exhibition of diverse works from over 25 artists continues to impress, although has been reworked and partially rehung a few times now to fill the gaps from sales. All of Imbi Davidson's works on paper have exited the gallery to a collector in Brisbane, as have all of Greg Mallyon's new paintings to Byron and China. B. T. Moore's enigmatic self-portrait struck a chord with a Brisbane collector and two of Dawn Thirlaway's beautiful neriage porcelain pieces are winging their way to Sydney. Marika Bryant and Richard Cox have also seen sales in a number of their works for destinations locally and north and south, while Matthew Shepherd photographs continue to attract orders from near and very far.
From top left, works by Imbi Davidson, Greg Mallyon, B. T. Moore, Dawn Thirlaway, Marika Bryant, Richard Cox and Matthew Shepherd.
There's no greater pleasure than contacting artists with news of their sales and following up with bank transfers and accompanying remittences. It keeps them and us going, at least for a little while!
We were also very privileged to be involved with The Byron Arts Classic earlier this month, where we selected artists for the Gallery Representation Award. This was really tough as there were a lot of artists whose work we admired, but we ended up giving the award to three artists, Julie Corbet, Rachael Hegh and Marie-Lise Laviolette. We really look forward to exhibiting their work as soon as possible and offering whatever assistance we can to realise their potential locally and elsewhere.
Other exhibitions coming up this year include solo shows by Stuart Cussons (new works) and AñA Wojak (review), with shows by Dave Kill, Susan Gourley and others to be confirmed. There will be a number of group shows as well which will feature new artists to the gallery, such as Heather Matthew, Annique Goldenberg, Leanne Stewart Haugh and French artist, Sylvian (The Fish Man) Preziosa.
Somewhere in the year we will be closing for a week or two to catch up on some repainting and other maintenance work, plus maybe squeeze in a brief holiday. It mightn't seem like we do much, but there is actually a huge amount of work that goes into the behind the scenes 'stuff'. Unless you’ve actually been involved with running a gallery, you have no idea how much “backroom” activity is required!
More news on exhibitions and our annual programme will follow once we catch our collective breath!
Keep an eye out for other wonderful things happening with the visual arts in this region. The Arts Northern Rivers and Lismore & Nimbin Tourism websites are a great source of up-to-date information. We also keep an eye out for exhibitions happening at Art Piece Gallery at Mullumbimby, the Nimbin Artists Gallery and the Lismore Regional Gallery, and news associated with the Lennox Arts Board, Byron Arts Classic, Serpentine Community Gallery and Arts Northern Rivers via their Facebook pages, as they all contribute much to the promotion of local artists and the local arts scene.
You can follow us on Facebook too!
This is a great time of the year for gallery visitors - all over Northern Rivers and the coast. We've had a lot of repeat visitors from the local area and from much farther afield (Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne); others coming on the basis of recommendation, others via our Facebook followers and that of our website, and some just passing through.
The wonderful thing is that the majority spend half an hour to an hour wondering around and really looking at the art, and many asking questions about particular works or artists. Some even angst over which works to buy - not often, but it's happened a few times over the last couple of weeks.
Then there are a very few who take about a minute to walk through the entire gallery - literally! We don't even know what they thought or were looking for as they rarely engage in conversation. One truly wonders what their expectations were, but it certainly wasn't fine art of any genre - even works more at the craft-end of the spectrum. It certainly wasn't pricing, as we haven't been able to keep up with labeling due to turnover. The lack of communication, even when pressed, makes it hard to recommend another venue that may offer them something more to their liking, although the majority of places that are galleries in this region probably wouldn't appeal much either because they actually stock a lot of contemporary/traditional, quality art!
It is so tempting to put a sign out the front that warns people that there is some real art should they venture further. It might deter the few looking for what; we don't know!
Then again, that's not who we are, although some days, it would be tempting to be!! Other gallery owners/workers out there must feel the same thing at some stage.
So we remain somewhat flummoxed, but gratified that at least the majority of people who flow through here appreciate art. They may have their likes and dislikes - as do we all - but the ability to engage and look that little bit closer - to understand maybe a little bit more - is both an inspiring and gratifying-to-observe quality of (most) human beings.
To other galleries in the Northern Rivers - permanent, community, commercial, public or temporary/pop-up, you have our respect. Keep up whatever it is you are doing, including supporting and advocating the arts in this region, and local artists, in particular. It sometimes is a struggle to reach an audience, but then there are so many who 'get it'. We can only be thankful for the latter, but it would be so nice to have an opportunity to engage with those who don't - for whatever reason.