Workshop Sale at Aspex Gallery

25 November 2015

In the last post I said it was all about the presentation.

What do you think? (By the way, the photos were taken on mobile devices so not the crispest, but you get the drift). 

The earring display worked a treat. 

The toast racks came into their own. 

The shoe stand worked a treat. 

I was very pleased with the presentation.

Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth is a hidden gem. It's tucked behind the Loch Fynne restaurant at Gunwharf Quays. No one really knows it's there. We did generate a fabulous footfall, what with my Facebook page and the other marketing. So many people said they had never been into the gallery before, which is such a shame. The building alone, which is a listed building from the old Navy Dockyard days, is just lovely and I've been a couple of times and seen some lovely work. 

But what is it about these arts venues?  I cannot work out if they're smug ( they've got their Arts Council funding), ignorant or just a bit, well, 'lally'. No one from the gallery came to see the work over the entire weekend.  Personally I find that pretty shocking.  They have a shop at the gallery but there was no local makers work for sale there. Private galleries work their socks off to get our work 'out there' - but not, it seems, funded ones. 

I was pretty incensed by the end of the weekend - having a Tory hissy fit. (Shhhh - don't tell anyone) But really, imagine what the lovely people who run Obsidian Art, Vitreous Art and all those other 'private' galleries would make with the space. 


  1. You should be please with your presentation - it looks so very good & approachable. I can relate to your irritation at the lack of gallery presence. I don't know the answer to that but it is an ongoing frustration with the visual arts portion of my arts council. We often feel like the red-headed stepchildren...

    1. Thanks Sheila. Do you have public funded galleries across the pond too? The big institutions need Arts Council (central government funding) to keep going. But they are run well and with business heads. But deary me! I could do a better job with some of these local ones!

    2. I'm not sure that we do in the same sense as you are referring to if I understand you correctly (And I may not be). We do have the NEA (National Endowment For The Arts) to which one may apply for art grants. Some museums and galleries can qualify for funds for specific needs or to mount special exhibitions, but it makes up a small portion of operating costs to my knowledge. Eek! I feel under-qualified to answer your question!

    3. Hello again - do you know how do your big 'names' get funding (MoMa etc.) or are they entirely self funded by generous benefactors and entry fees? I am really no expert but think our big institutions have that plus the government grant from the Arts Council. But then of course there are the private galleries like Gagosian - I don't understand how they work. I guess it is from commission from representing the 'big guns' in the art scene (which I know can be worth a lot of money). Its all quite fascinating really.

    4. My impression has always been that the museums stay open through a variety of private donations, memberships and entry fees, and grants. MOMA'S website as a page about "support" that appears to bear that out. These institutions are non-profit and benefit from corporate sponsorship, trusts and endowments but basically, our government never did set up a system of support for such things. As I stated before, the most it does is offer grants for the arts through the NEA, I found this excellent article explaining the "cobbling together" of funding sources here: As for art galleries, my impression is that these are privately owned. What so many people don't get is that they are not museums and that they pay the bills by selling art. Arts Councils fall somewhere in between I think. Non-profits in support of local artists that survive on membership subscriptions, donations, ticket sales for performing arts events, commission on exhibit sales, donations and grants. All in all, the arts, performing and visual, or not well supported in this country and many organizations, especially symphonies, have folded during the recent lean times.

  2. It looks great Hilary! Sorry I couldn't make it over. It was a busy weekend for open studios and Christmas events. I hope you sold well. I'm learning more and more that the best artist groups are those who do it for themselves and don't rely on desk jockeys!

  3. Thanks Amanda - and don't worry. It would have been a bit of a trek for you.


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