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St Kilda Arts Community: New Connections

The St Kilda Arts Community would like to give a huge thanks to all the artists and businesses that supported the May 2018 St Kilda Art Crawl. The result can only be measured by the feedback from all the venues and artists. We are happy that the maps were very effective with a significant increase in people using the maps during the May St Kilda Art Crawl. Galleries were happy with the overall outcome which exceeded expectations. One aspect that came through was that some locals discovered small galleries that they never knew existed.

GAS (Grid Art Space) has successfully produced and curated two pop-up art shows at 33 Fitzroy St Kilda, as part of the Sept 2017 and May 2018 Art Crawls. As a result, owner’s Jenny Li and Rob Semple have been inspired to renovate the building in the hope of adding value to their property whilst turning it into a high-end bar/art gallery.

The St Kilda Arts Community would especially like to thank all the volunteers that helped to make the May St Kilda Art Crawl a success. We would also like to thank property owners Jenny Li and Rob Semple from 33 Fitzroy St and Freddie Warschauer for their generous support and use of their properties. 

The second manifestation of Zeus by Adrian Spurr.
The Pariah image by Michael Kluge

The result of May 2018 St Kilda Art Crawl.
 
The May St Kilda Art Crawl was launched on Thursday with 37 participating venues and businesses showing tremendous community support, with over a 100 artists showcasing the best in St Kilda.

In Fitzroy St, there were five participating venues including Claypots Seafood Express, The Oyster Bar and Gallery (No. 7), The Linden Tree  (No. 11) and the pop-up gallery at 33 for the duration of the crawl. The Linden Tree Bar & Gallery had the St Kilda Comedy Club late Sunday afternoon and next door
St Luja had poetry readings and recitals in the Notorious Whiskey Cellar early Sunday afternoon.

Thursday 24 was the opening of the St Kilda Art Crawl at the Vineyard Restaurant where up to 70 guests enjoyed the entertainment with special guests Frank Howson, Serge Thomann and entertainment from Eclectica and Steve Lucas.

Sunday early afternoon began with the St Luja Whiskey Cellar being the venue for four poets and a musician with various readings and music recitals which attracted an appreciative gathering.

The Linden Tree Bar and Gallery hosted the St Kilda Comedy Clubs entertainment with well-known comedians such as Nikki Osborne attracting a strong attendance.

During the weekend, galleries, in general, were happy and noted a large number of visitors in the hundreds such as the Laneway Gallery, Punchinello Pop Up, and 4Dverse Hub with robust art sales. Marloes Bakker-Marsden showcased her work in a pop-up in Acland St attracting a lot of interest. Apart from galleries doing well, venues observed a high usage of maps such as the Storehouse. Studio/art spaces such as Catherine Hiller, Art Studio 106 and Toot Artspace are happy with what the Art Crawl attracted gaining new customers. 

The Alex Theatre was happy with the results of the “Grid Art Space” exhibition supported by St Kilda Arts Community. The Opening night of PUFFS saw a large turn out affording the artists’ great exposure.
 
Many venues were very busy over the weekend particularly on Saturday, these included Republica, both Claypots, The Post St Kilda, the Greeve St Project, Leroy’s, and Vegilicious.

Numbers could have been better in Carlisle St so The Body Gallery, Maureen Williams Studio, and ILANEL Design Studio supported by the St Kilda Arts Community are planning tours for the next Art Crawl. Other venues participating were; Art Yarramanua, Phamish Food and Wine Bar, The Shakespeare Grove Artists Studios, Vegout, the St Kilda Film Festival at the Town Hall, Masters, Space2B and Happy Folk in Fitzroy Street. 

The measure of people on the art crawl has been estimated at around 1,500 people. Our calculations show an approximate increase of 60 percent of people on the Art Crawl compared to last year. 
 
Most venues have indicated that they wish to be involved in the September 2018 Art Crawl. 

Simon Barnett
Secretary
St Kilda Arts Community Inc.

John Canham opening at Toot

John Canham at the Toot Gallery
By Simon Barnett
 
The Toot Gallery in St Kilda is now showing abstract work from artist John Canham from Ballarat.

After 35 years in the construction industry in Melbourne, John retired in 2007 and moved to Ballarat turning his hand to art. Although he showed ability in his much younger days, nobody recognized his talent and his life went in a different direction.
 
With no formal training in art, John’s subject matter varies with more conventional works using oils and watercolors but abstract art is the one that gives him much pleasure and freedom.
 
John said, “People don’t realize that my real love is abstract, that’s where I really find the greatest pleasure with abstract, it’s a total escape … you’re not reliant on any one style.”
 
John has to end up with a picture that he is happy with where he doesn’t have to satisfy all the other demands that artists can have when you’re doing more traditional work. “With abstract, it’s just sort of out there … you do your own thing and you can just disappear into it, well I do … it just develops … I don’t plan my pictures as such … I put a line on a piece of paper and I go from there and see what happens,” said John.
    
John is the winner of several art awards and became a lifelong member of the Ballarat Society of Artists and is currently its president.
 
“My aim in art is to always enjoy the doing of it, enjoy the sharing of it and encourage everyone to appreciate it and perhaps own a part of it,” said John.
 
John’s exhibition finishes on Saturday 16th June 2018.
 
Toot Artspace is an independent space in St Kilda offering artists an economic alternative for showing and selling their work. It offers a more inclusive environment for artists to test out new and more challenging ideas with three-week packages that include electronic mail out and social media press.
 
 
For further information
https://tootartspace.com
toottoot@tootgallery.com
 
Toot Artspace & Shop
SHOP 5
17-19 Irwell St.
St Kilda 3182
VIC

John Canham Abstract

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