On the 22nd November 2019, Rockhampton will be home to the newest commercial gallery in regional Queensland - GALA Gallery. It will be one of the only commercial gallery spaces outside of Brisbane and Cairns in regional Queensland and with the new $31 million public art gallery currently being built in the region, Rockhampton is an emerging art market with a vibrant culture of untapped collectors and investors.
Owner of GALA Gallery, Tracey Siddins, is an advocate for the growth and support of arts in the regions and recognises that for Rockhampton to be considered as a major centre of arts creation, there needs to be more diversity in the sector. “I have seen the exceptional quality of artists that live and create in the regions and along with the growth in community attendance and support of the Rockhampton Art Gallery, we really are on the cusp of an art and cultural boom in Central Queensland,” said Tracey.
“Apart from the regional art institutions and community lead galleries, there is really no one working in that commercial space in regions around Queensland and I saw that as a major opportunity.”
Regional centres are healthier and more active when there is a diversity of places for art presentation. Artist run spaces, community spaces, pop-up galleries, regional galleries and commercial galleries all ensure that there is something for everyone. GALA Gallery will create a stable of artists, drawn from across Australia. In doing so it contributes to the creative fabric of regional Queensland and encourages a broader segment of the community to value the arts in their daily life.
“For a community to thrive, diversity is required. This is just as true in the arts as any other sector. If you are seeking - as Rockhampton is - for the arts to regenerate and be a basis for economic stimulus, then there needs to be diversity and this is where GALA Gallery comes into play,” said Tracey.
GALA Gallery will hold its first group exhibition on the 22nd November 2019 with a full program of solo shows anticipated for the first half for 2020. In addition to the planned exhibition program, GALA will also provide an art consultancy service for both individual and corporate clients for both art commissions and licensing.
“People have been asking me why I would take such a risk by opening a commercial gallery in Rockhampton, and my response is always because I believe that there is already a huge cohort of art lovers in our region - they just don’t know that they’re allowed to own it!”
“We are all so used to going to the gallery to ‘look’ instead of going with the mindset to ‘own’ and I think that is where commercial galleries can really start making a difference to a region’s art culture,” said Tracey.