Timaru resident, Jock Anderson has open Gallery 329 in the township’s centre in Stafford Street. It is a space for artists, designers and craftspeople across all practices to exhibit with no commission on the sale of their work in an affordable gallery space.
Anderson’s establishment of Gallery 329 is the outcome of a visit in 2019 to the Scottish Design Exchange in Edinburgh, a space for 300 local artists and designers to exhibit where ‘every penny spent goes directly to those who create it’. Like the Scottish Design Exchange, artists and arts supporters at Gallery 329 work to a roster to keep overheads low.
Gallery 329 opened in Timaru in March and has been an immediate success. Anderson says all its spaces were filled immediate. ‘It represents a wide range of arts practices including painting, sculpture, jewellery, carving, wood-turning, screen-printing, textiles, pottery and more. When I came back to Timaru, I spoke to my artist-friends in the South Canterbury Art Society. Their president, Sue Connolly, shoulder-tapped many artists and I have been able to get a range of quality practitioners. Among the wood carvers are some of the best in New Zealand, including Ken Newbitt and there is also artist, Peter Winnington, a well-known watercolour artist who paints local scenes and painter Sue Matthews’.
‘I am not an artist but I am involved in creating projects. The gallery works on a non-commission basis with artists joining and renting a space for $80 a week and the artists are paid every month. The gallery space is small and can only take 25 artists at a time and we are full. I have a waiting list of twenty artists. We are all volunteers who pay the rent and Power bills, as well as a bit of advertising and stationery with a little left over, and the project would have not been possible without a very supportive landlord’.
Gallery 329 is also sponsored by RSM Law through marketing and advertising and this commitment to local support also extends to its arts community, with Gallery 329’s first emerging artist, Emma Greer, sponsored for her first three months space by another local artist.
329 Stafford Street, Timaru
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm
- Visitors at Gallery 329, Timaru, Matariki Festival , exhibition opening, 10 July