An empty shopfront isn't the best look for a town and with that in mind, Gloucester School of Arts decided to organise a pop-up art gallery in its prime Church Street location in between tenants.
In July, the quaint little cafe, June's Place, on the corner of Church and Denison streets, closed its doors, leaving a vacancy in Gloucester's main shopping district.
"We were very sorry to lose the shop which had been operating successfully for a number of years," Gloucester School of Arts secretary, Peter Buettel said. "In our current climate there were not a large number of potential tenants knocking at our door so we decided that rather than leave the shop looking lonely and deserted with a For Lease sign in the window, we would offer it to local artists from the Gloucester Art Society as a pop-up gallery."
Being a not-for-profit organisation devoted to nurturing the arts in Gloucester, they offered the space for a reasonable commission. In return, the artists took turns displaying their works as a special treat for the influx of tourists and members of the community.
The colourful display far outweighed the blank white walls and empty space of a vacant shopfront and turned it into a viewing spectacle in the middle of town.
"The interest was certainly fairly robust and we have been able to host a number of local artist in the shop," Peter said.
"We felt the benefit for the town of Gloucester was significant and the fact that it added bit of diverse artistic interest in the town was welcome."
But, as they say, all good things must come to and end, and so too is the fate of the pop-up gallery, with the Gloucester School of Arts securing a new tenant due to take over in early in September.
"Our experience has shown that our local artists are willing to display their wares on a casual basis and we strongly suggest that if any other unoccupied shops become available in Gloucester a pop-up gallery is worthwhile," Peter said.
The Gloucester School of Arts also leases part of its heritage building to the Gloucester Gallery, an initiative by the not-for-profit Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Inc (GACCI).
Gloucester Art Society holds an art exhibition annually in the Gloucester Gallery in displaying a wide range of its members works.
Did you know?
Records show that the Gloucester School of Arts originally operated in building on Barrington Street from 1904.
Unfortunately the building, along with some 1800 library books, seating, tables, piano and billiard tables were destroyed by fire on November 2, 1926.
Subsequently, after the destruction of the original hall, plans for the construction of the current building commenced in November 1932.
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