Community support for gallery 'amazing'

23:00, Sep 09 2013
Invercargill City Gallery
Invercargill City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield is happy with the result of the gallery remaining open.
Invercargill City Council
Invercargill City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield with some of the artwork at the gallery.
Invercargill City Gallery
Invercargill City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield, right, with John Wishart, left, and Annie Bourque who are both members of the Southland Art Society.
Invercargill City Gallery
Invercargill City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield walking through the gallery.
City Gallery
OVERWHELMED: City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield is happy the Don St gallery will stay open, after a meeting was held on Saturday to decide its future.

City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield says she has been overwhelmed by support for the gallery after it was nearly forced to close its doors last week.

The Southland Art Society called a meeting on Saturday to discuss the future of the Don St gallery after the committee proposed closing the space, making Ms Blomfield redundant, and disbanding the society.

The committee cited financial reasons for the proposal, but the wider art society decided closure was not necessary, Ms Blomfield said.

"It should never have been on the books to close it in the first place."

The "drama" had ended up being a good thing, though, with the community coming together around the gallery in a positive way, she said.

In the days following the announcement, Ms Blomfield said she had been barely able to leave her computer, she had received so many emails of support.

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A woman had even taken in a bunch of flowers yesterday to say well done on keeping the gallery open, she said.

"The support's been amazing . . . it's just shown me how important it is to the cit," she said.

It has been a tough few weeks for Ms Blomfield, who was given only 48 hours to pitch a solution to save her job and the gallery, prompting her to ask the Invercargill City Council to take over the gallery as part of the inner-city upgrade.

The council has not yet committed to helping the gallery, but Ms Blomfield hoped it might consider the request.

In the meantime, she encouraged any Southland businesses wishing to help to get in touch and said she would be focusing on the gallery's upcoming exhibition, opening later this week.

The Southland Times