Alison Steiner is a Creative Business Consultant working on our Wayfind Creative programme. We would…
Of all the services the Depot Artspace offers the Small Dog retail gallery presents the greatest dilemma. It was established to provide mutually sustainable outcomes, for its member artists and in consequence for itself, a real necessity in a continually challenging economic environment. It has also been a source of delight and interest for many visitors to the Depot who have been treated to one-off pieces of art and craft.
However, since it began in 2010 it has never achieved anything close to sustainability, at least financially. Under the management of some very enthusiastic and capable people many new initiatives have been introduced to increase opportunities for artists – the Feature Artist wall, constant stock replenishment and gallery changeover, alignment of displays with other events such as Sculpture onShore, online sales and the Small Dog blog – yet none has succeeded in keeping Small Dog’s head above water. In fact Small Dog costs nearly twice as much to run as the sales it makes, even with all the above in place and 7 day accessibility to visitors.
We realise this is not an uncommon story in the current climate and we, along with many other community facilities, are researching and applying more effectual means for sustainability. This will result in some new and more viable opportunities for member artists who the Depot Artspace remains committed to supporting.
These new initiatives will include:
• Curated, occasionally themed, members’ exhibitions in Small Dog which will remain a gallery.
• Ongoing exhibition opportunities in the Depot’s back space, formerly called Tardis.
• The opportunity to hire one of six wall-mounted internally lit pint-sized galleries to curate your own small exhibition. No commission will be taken on works sold. The small galleries were a popular feature of Satellite Gallery.
– Linda Blincko
** Dog is an acronym for Depot’s Other Gallery and no reference to the proliferation of small dogs in Devonport.
If you have any questions please email Cath O’Brien or Linda Blincko via our contact page.