Odyssey at Space 22 – a long adventurous journey

A message from Space 22 by Kim Anderson.

Odyssey:  a long adventurous journey, a series of wanderings filled with notable experiences and hardships, the origin of which stems from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.

After a successful ‘Launch’ in January 2010 leading to ‘Orbit’ in January 2011, Space 22, Ballarat’s only not-for-profit artist-run gallery is now continuing with the theme of innovation and exploration and about to undertake its own Odyssey.

Officially opening on Saturday 18 June from 3-5pm, Odyssey is a huge exhibition featuring the work of over 60 local artists who have previously exhibited at Space 22, and it will be the final exhibition ever in our beautiful gallery space at 22 Main Road.  Space 22’s tenure at this venue will come to an end at the closure of this exhibition due to the expansion of the landlord’s own business, however this certainly does not reflect on the amount of success and support the gallery has had over the last 18 months.  The truth is that despite a long search, it has not been possible to find an alternative space that meets the expectations of the committee and our desire to continue operating Space 22 as the professional, high-quality exhibition space it has become renowned as.  So with great regret, but not without future hopes, Space 22 will be taking a hiatus while the search is on for a new venue that is just as good as – if not better than – the current venue in Main Road.

Far from being a sad occasion, Odyssey is to be a huge celebration of Space 22’s successes over 18 months of operation and a “send-off” on the journey to seek out exciting prospects for the future.  The gallery has exhibited the work of over 220 artists, averaged around 300 visitors during each 3-week show, had fantastic local and national media publicity through newspapers, magazines, ABC and U-Tube, and made approximately $30,000 in sales.  An important point to note is that since Space 22 is run on an entirely not-for-profit basis by a group of volunteers (all practising artists), and takes absolutely no commission on sales, all of this money has gone directly to the artists themselves.  Committee members* have worked tirelessly to provide a high-quality exhibition space while endeavouring to keep the costs to the artists as low as possible, providing assistance and advice on installation and de-installation, catering and staffing for openings, and publicity.  The artists themselves are more often than not minding the gallery, providing a unique opportunity to engage directly with the public and discuss their artistic processes.

Running from 16 June until 3 July, Odyssey promises to be an exciting and inspirational show not only showcasing the incredible talent that exists in the local region, but also celebrating the achievements of Space 22 in giving artists such a significant opportunity. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the artists, local businesses, schools and community members who have supported us over the past 18 months, and extend an invitation to everyone to come and join us for this very special occasion on 18 June – a farewell to the old and an odyssey towards new possibilities just over the next horizon.

For now, Space 22 bids you “adieu” – and we look forward to welcoming everyone to a new venue in the future.

Odyssey opens Saturday 18 June from 3-5pm, at Space 22, 22 Main Road, Ballarat.
It runs from 16 June through to 3 July 2011.

Founding Space 22 committee members in January 2010, (L-R): Cinda Stevens, Claire Blake, Ros Lawson, Debbie Hill and Geoff Wallis. Current committee members are Claire Blake, Debbie Hill, Cinda Stevens, John O’Loughlin, Phil Berry and Kim Anderson.

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