Gallery gets greenlight

by Kent Caddick

The group behind Selwyn’s newest community art gallery has been given a $20,000 grant by the Selwyn District Council.

A collection of artists and arts supporters, had made a public forum presentation to council asking for help to establish a gallery in the former Ellesmere Drapery building, on High St in Leeston.

At a recent council meeting in Lincoln councillors gave the group a one-off $20,000 seeding grant to help them establish the gallery, Councillor Craig Watson, who moved the motion to approve the grant, said it wasn’t tied to any on-going funding.

“This is a one-off grant to help them to set up.”

The gallery would be run by volunteers following the model set by the district’s other two community galleries, the Selwyn Gallery in Darfield and Lincoln’s Down by the Liffey Gallery. 

The yet-to-be named gallery in Leeston will, in addition to providing space for artists to exhibit and sell their work, also hold art tutoring classes to raise additional income.

The money for the grant is coming from council’s arts reserves, which currently stands at around $55,000.

The group was initially seeking $30,000 to cover the cost of the building lease for one year but several councillors expressed concerns at the cost of the lease and noted that neither the Darfield nor the Lincoln community galleries were faced with that cost.