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The building known as ‘The Garage’ formed part of Nannup Motors owned by R.R. Rowe & Sons dealing in Chevrolet & Pontiac Cars and Trucks. There used to be an old bowser on the pavement just to the side of it.
In February, 2011, a proposal was put forward by committee member Frank Wilkinson that the Nannup Arts Council have a home base and community gallery. Frank believed that NAC needed to establish a visible presence in the town.
The challenge to create an office space and community gallery, which would be a not for profit venue managed by the NAC members and exhibit the best of the Blackwood regions artist's talent, had begun. With Frank Wilkinson steering the project, with committee support, the hunt began to find a suitable venue in a location that would meet the needs of the residents and vistor's of Nannup. Frank's vision of what was required saw him approach Hamish Robinson the owner of the old garage in Grange road. The site located close to the Nannup hotel, town hall, cafes and Blackwood foreshore had great potential but needed a lot of work. Hamish agreed to the project and in exchange for the labour required to restore the building, which would be supplied by NAC members and community volunteers, entered into a generous rental agreement.
The renovation project, managed by Frank in collaboration with Hamish, began. It was anticipated that the gallery would be completed and running by May. The renovations proved much more difficult than expected, as happens with buildings of this age, and volunteer workers were often hard to find. A lot was achieved in the first two months until the wet weather set in. Some of the problems included structural instability, replacement of the concrete floor, footing work, gutters and downpipes needed repairs, water seepage from outside into and onto the gallery floor, paint and plaster was slow to set with the damp. Frank, Hamish and their willing workers, some skilled in construction and carpentry, continued on supported by their friends who would drop by with hot soup, words of encouragement and the occasional morning tea.
Located in the center of Nannup’s tourist district it was envisioned that the gallery would attract both tourists and festival crowds during Nannup’s major festivals.
Many artists have been attracted by the lifestyle offered in our pretty valley town framed by rolling green hills and this has prompted the Arts Council to have a stronger visual presence in the community. Being based in the centre of the Blackwood River Valley it would also make it attractive for artists from surrounding areas to display their work.
The Gallery was envisioned to be multifunctional venue offering a wide range of uses which may include the following:
Artists in Residence Programs
A meeting place
A word from Frank...
"It took 8 months of my life to get the gallery to a point where it can display works of art to their best advantage. The work has given me great satisfaction despite the set backs and I became good friends with my workers."
"I worked as if it was mine; but it was always to be a gift to the community from the NAC volunteers and donations from the community."
Thanks Frank...without your vision and hard work the Garage Gallery would still be a garage.
The NAC recognises the support of many community members and organisations who have helped in the development of the Garage Gallery, the Nannup Arts Council would like to thank all those involved. Your continued and valued support has seen the Arts culture within the town and region grow benefiting many.
The Garage Gallery
A Brief History
PATRONS & SPONSORS
The Gallery is run almost entirely through donations received from
Patrons & Sponsors and fundraising activities of Nannup Arts Council.
Patrons gift regular annual funding to The Gallery whereas,
Sponsors cover prize monies for Exhibitions, cost of workshops etc.
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