Unknown to some is a very special pocket of Newtown (VIC) that exists down by the banks of the Barwon River. Rutland Street has always been a creative hub for the arts and was home to Geelong’s rock music scene at the now defunct Pan Studios. Contributing to the thriving cultural hot spot today is the talented duo behind Boom Gallery. The current JOCO campaign was photographed here and we would like to share this gem with you via the owners Kate Jacoby and Ren Inei.
Share with us the story of BOOM Gallery. We, Ren and I, have been friends for many years and worked at the same Secondary School teaching VCE art and design. After a visit to an old woollen mill in South Geelong we couldn’t stop thinking of how well that kind of industrial building would work with art on the walls! In early 2011 we got the keys to what is now Boom and after lots of hard work we opened the doors. Over the past 4 years we have extended the gallery space, opened Factory 21 studios, extended again, built the stockroom plus design gallery and recently opened Boom Workroom. Our vision has always been to present an arts experience that is contemporary, accessible and enjoyable for audiences. We have a cafe on site (Dirty Rascal) and a dedicated design gallery /store.
Tell us about your passion to support local. We feel we are doing something really important at Boom. We have created a vibrant and interesting space for many of the talented artists and makers in the region to exhibit and sell their work. Plus the opportunity for them to engage with a broader audience. There are not many galleries in our immediate region who are doing what we do so we feel that we are making a much needed contribution to regional art and to the cultural character of our city. The set up of Factory 21 has provided work spaces/studios to artists and creative professionals while also contributing to the existing creative community of Rutland Street (neighbours of the gallery/factory being a dance studio, commercial photographer, video production company, web designers, marketing agency…and more…). It is an exciting, mutually inspiring and supportive community.
Visitors can browse the design gallery and stockroom. What can they expect to find in store? We have made our stockroom a publicly accessible space for people to view artwork that is not currently part of any exhibitions. This informal setting allows for a juxtaposition of work we wouldn’t usually hang side by side and gives audiences a ‘behind the scenes’ experience. Our stockroom houses paintings, sculpture, ceramics, framed and unframed prints, drawings and mixed media works. We feel opening up the stockroom has benefited our audiences, as like the artist listing on our website, people can view a whole range of work from numerous artists and makers.
The design gallery features a range of objects, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, lighting and unique potted plants. We have a focus on stocking wares that are handmade and believe this is an important point of difference for our business. We stock makers from Geelong and surrounds, Melbourne, Sydney and even as far as L.A. We are always looking for new, interesting work that will appeal to our audiences.
What is the Boom Workroom all about? The opportunity arose for us to take over another building within the Mill Properties, where Boom is housed, and we decided to go for it. We chose to develop a dedicated space for arts education, offering a range of arts classes, workshops and events. We have only just opened the doors to Boom Workroom, launching the space with a very popular and fully booked class, ‘Oil Painting Fundamentals’ taught by Nat Anderson. Nat is an artist we represent at Boom and has a lot of incredible knowledge to share. We will also be offering a ‘VCE Folio expansion course’ which takes year 11 or 12 students through a broad range of materials and techniques in order to expand their skills, knowledge and folios. An ‘Introduction to Drawing’ three week short course will also take place in late May, offering students the chance to learn the basics of drawing, with portrait and life drawing also included. A ‘Basket Weaving workshop’ will also take place next week, taught by artist and maker Ro Yule. We plan to offer a school holiday program for kids mid year and have many other classes and workshops still in development. We will be posting these on our website as soon as details are confirmed.
We intend to continue collaborating with local artists and makers to bring a dynamic program of classes and events to the Geelong community, we also think the space has great potential for seminars or professional development workshops and are happy to discuss options with interested parties. For more information on the Workroom and the classes offered please contact the Gallery or visit us online.
Who is the next big thing? We love the inventiveness & playful approach of sculptor Mark Cuthbertson, a well established artist, who has worked on a lot of dynamic public art projects and stage design with Back to Back Theatre. Another artist to watch is emerging Melbourne artist Lance Delary Simpson. We are looking forward to exhibiting his paintings in November this year.
What can we look forward to at Boom for 2015 ? We have a fantastic calendar of exhibitions booked for 2015 and we are thrilled to present the work of such talented artists & makers. As well as the establishment of the Workroom / Education space we will be launching a new venture with some skilled and resourceful co-creators. This new venture, an urban garden, will provide inspiration and knowledge as well as operate as a dynamic urban nursery.
Where do we find you?
11 Rutland Stree, Newtown, VIC , Australia, 3220
Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm