Space Studio & Gallery Closure- Press Release 18th April 2018:
Space Studio & Gallery at 64 Taupo Quay has become an iconic part of Whanganui’s creative and cultural landscape. Gallery owner and curator Sarah Williams has been instrumental in ensuring that Space has had six dynamic years of exhibitions showcasing emerging and established artists. With more than 200 exhibitions held during this time, Sarah has decided that it is time for some new challenges, meaning that Space will close its doors at the end of the 2018 programme.
Sarah says, “After serious consideration I have decided that the current programme will be our final one. We will finish the year on a real high with our Christmas Night Market on Saturday 15 December, with the final day of the last exhibition being Friday 21 December.”
There have been many highlights over the last six years, notably the contributions that Sarah and Space have made to the community. Its collaborations with the Women’s Network during several festival programmes of La Fiesta and the Winter Wonderfest has raised thousands of dollars to support the non-profit sector, as well as introducing documentaries, film screenings, and live music to the gallery space. Experience coordinating Artists Open Studios further enhanced relationships with the arts sector, and the initiation of night market events has generated positive connections with the community and creative entrepreneurs.
Sarah is particularly proud of the gallery’s website which has enabled shows to be promoted beyond the physical space. This has really added value to the shows at Space, connecting them with a wider audience, and with an extensive mailing list outside of Whanganui.
“There is a strong feeling that Space has been an anchor for the arts community, providing a space to show work, and to come together and feel supported. I am thankful that the artists have got behind the gallery and backed it. The social aspect of Space has been quite accidental, yet it has become such a pivotal part of the success of each show”.
Sarah acknowledges that news of the December closure is likely to generate its own community response. However, she remains excited about the programme that is yet to come, maintaining that it might even be the best yet in the gallery’s history.
Keeping exhibition costs affordable has been a strong focus of the business model, and it has also come with its own challenges for the owner-operator. Looking after the studio artists upstairs is also a particular focus for Sarah in her commitment to the continuing calendar of events through until December.
As for the future, Sarah says, “I would love to remain involved with the arts sector and look forward to seeing what unfolds with the experiences that I have gained in events management as well. I believe I have a lot to offer Whanganui”.
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