As well as producing my own art, I organise and curate exhibitions at The Art House, so I thought I share a bit about this. Firstly, it’s important to say it is a multi-use space – as well as art, there are gigs and other events, and of course it is a cafe. This makes it more difficult to give artwork the prominence it deserves, but there are ways to improve this. Some of this is mundane – making sure chairs are stacked away from what’s on the walls, but other aspects take a bit of thought, and dare I say, creativity.
Also the venue is quite small, but it is split into ‘modules’ for the purposes of exhibitions: window-space, main stairs, downstairs (the cafe) and upstairs (the events area). This means we can show several exhibitions at once, from two or three pieces in the window, to maybe 20 in the cafe. This is important as we try to provide opportunities for many artists in a city which sorely lacks spaces for independents to exhibit and hopefully sell. Of course, most people come to a cafe to eat and drink – something that costs a few pounds, so they may not have art-buying in mind. This means another issue is putting the venue on the art-map, and aim to bring in those who may have art-purchasing in mind. As part of working towards this, we’re taking part in this year’s Hampshire Open Studios with a four-way group show. We’re also making links with local art and creatives’ networks, tying together exhibitions with related workshops, plus many other musings in the early stages of, well, musing. I’m bound to write updates to this – until then, here are a few recent images – enjoy!