GIGS Art Gallery faces closure without more volunteer support

REGIONAL SUPPORT: Border artist Stephanie Jakovac says GIGS Art Gallery would be a great loss if it closed.

REGIONAL SUPPORT: Border artist Stephanie Jakovac says GIGS Art Gallery would be a great loss if it closed.

A BORDER exhibition space set up to assist artists in this region could fold if more volunteers don’t come forward.

We're in desperate need of support and extra help for various jobs ... so looking for people who have got vision, want to help out and keep us going, basically. - Fiona VanderWelde

GIGS Art Gallery, Gateway Village, will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday, with gallery co-ordinator Fiona VanderWeyde agreeing the situation was dire.

“It’s been coming over the last few years, people are busy, everyone’s got commitments,” she said. “We’re in desperate need of support and extra help for various jobs.”

The not-for-profit organisation hosts exhibitions for North East and southern NSW artists, with 65 consignment artists on its books at the moment. Seven also use the GIGS studios near the gallery to create their work.

“We give our artists a lot of support, especially emerging artists, a lot of support and guidance, for some of them it's their first time.” Ms VanderWeyde said. “It’s a community exhibition space, it’s all local artists, so it would be nice to see the locals supporting a lot more.” 

The co-ordinator said GIGS needed to develop a business plan because in two years its present grant system would end and it would have to become self-sustaining.

“We have to really seriously look at the future of the gallery,” she said,

“So looking for people who have got vision, want to help out and keep us going, basically.” 

Border artist Stephanie Jakovac, who exhibited at GIGS earlier this year, said the gallery would be a great loss if it closed.

“It’s very accessible to Albury and Wodonga artists,” she said. “Also because it’s on the Gateway island, a lot of people come through that travel to Albury-Wodonga and stop there.”

Ms VanderWeyde said she loved her position and wanted to stay involved but not without more support.

“I get paid for eight hours, but I do over 40 hours’ work a week,” she said. “A lot of those hours could be done by others.” 

The annual general meeting will be held at GIGS Art Gallery on Thursday at 6.30pm.

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