‘ART SPACE GALLERY CO-OP – ONE DECADE’
Art Space Gallery celebrates ten years from its launch on March 25, 2000. The founder members of Art Space all originated from the St Ives women’s artist group called ‘Taking Space’. This was and still is a group of women artists who exhibit together around Cornwall.
One of the members at that time, Greta Brett, suggested that we should have a permanent gallery of our own as we always seemed to be putting up and taking down exhibitions. Another member, Sue Sefton, organised the lease and formalities, obtaining a small unit in Court Arcade, St Ives. Any member of Taking Space who was interested formed the original group and Art Space Gallery evolved with eight members, opening for business on April 13, 2000.
Before the end of the first twelve months, the membership had reduced to seven and seven has remained the preferred membership ever since. By the start of 2003, moves were afoot to find a larger exhibiting space and the group moved to its current location on The Wharf, opening in time for Easter of that year. After the move the members agreed that Art Space was an artists co-operative gallery as opposed to an organisation for women artists only and Mike Hindle became the first man to join the group in February, 2007.
Rules for running Art Space are laid down in a ‘Constitution’ which governs everything from times of opening and care of the gallery to treasury, finances and hanging spaces. Included among the aims listed in the Constitution are: ‘A commitment to art, the gallery and each other’, ‘To develop teamwork as a co-operative’, ‘The development of each person’s work’, ‘To share experience in order to achieve our potential’, ‘To keep up a standard and bring a freshness to each re-hang’, ‘To be unique.’
Art Space Gallery can look back on some testing times, none more so perhaps than during the second half of 2009, when four long term members departed. The three remaining members, Helen Atkins, Victoria Hilliard and Lesley Ninnes were promptly joined by Truro based Sara Pound and Cornishman, John Berryman. In November, Petroushka Sura-Field joined the co-operative and the arrival of Gwinear based Julian Rowe, in January 2010 returned the group to ‘full strength’.
The tally of artists who have contributed their energy and expertise to the development of Art Space, whilst each enjoying the opportunity to reach a wide audience for their sizeable body of personally selected work at various times during the past 10 years, number twenty two in total! It is left to the current membership to celebrate reaching this important milestone, while bearing in mind the efforts of all of those who played a part in making it happen, and to look forward to the next chapter in the history of Art Space Gallery, St Ives.
Founder members: Sue Sefton, Greta Brett, Lavinia Learmont, Helen Atkins, Jane Beecroft, Izumi Omori, Carol Dodsworth, Joan Hancock.
Members(in date order): Margaret Poole, Claire Banks, Lesley Ninnes, Sadie Wyatt, Christine Allen, Annie Metcalfe, Angela Diggle, Ges Wilson, Mike Hindle, Victoria Hilliard, Sara Pound, John Berryman, Petroushka Sura-Field, Julian Rowe.