Wednesday, May 14, 2014

rental gallery loss rant

Lower Campus Golden Afternoon - oil on canvas - sold
On Monday I received news that our Agnes Etherington Art Rental and Sales Gallery here in Kingston will no longer be housed in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, which is Kingston's major publicly funded gallery.  In my opinion this is such a huge loss for Kingston, and also for Kingston's artists who have shown, rented and sold work in the Rental and Sales Gallery for at least 25 years.  
Whenever I travel to other Canadian public galleries, I ALWAYS make a stop in to see their satellite rental and sales galleries....that is where you get to see current art from local city artists; it's always such a joy to see that.
The Agnes Etherington Art Rental and Sales Gallery is run by the Gallery Association.  It was begun as a fundraising initiative for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at least 25 years ago. It was an exciting place to see fresh new Kingston art.  It expanded to include a gift shop for the public gallery as well.  The Gallery Association is the charitable organization that administers both the rental gallery and the gift shop.  Queen's University owns the Agnes Etherington Art Centre building. 
Over the years much of Kingston's community has supported the Gallery Associations efforts by fundraising. Why wouldn't we?  A great little public art gallery within our city, on the Queens campus.  The uniquely Kingston part of it was its art rental and sales gallery.  
Yesterday I went back through my records...I noted that I had sold 19 paintings from the rental and sales gallery since 2002, and rented tons more!  Clients I never would have found otherwise, chose my work in the AE rental and sales gallery.  It will be such a loss for me to lose the rental and sales gallery, if it does not find a new home.  The problem of course is that the rental and sales gallery had it good. They did not pay rent to use the space within the AEAC.  Finding a new home for the rental and sales gallery with such a similar easy situation, will be a difficult thing in this era of business first, art second.
When the AEAC needed the Gallery Association's fundraising money, it was welcome to occupy space within the public gallery. Now it seems that's not the case.  Hard to understand. Sad.


  1. So sorry to hear about this turn of events Sally - it really is a blow for you. I hope they are able to find a new home for the rental and sales gallery.

  2. hey Wendy, yes it is a real blow to Kingston artists like myself. We are at such a lack of ANY gallery space in this city. very sad.

  3. Sally - dunno if you remember me - Jennifer Radford, I ran the front desk @ the AEAC for about a decade - do you know WHY they closed Art Rental? I mean, what else were they going to put in the space?

  4. hi Jennifer! hes I remember you, nice to have you leave me a comment. It was explained to me that "in the wake of an external review spaces are being directed to meet new priorities to align with the overall mandate and capacity". I actually heard that it was needed for a meeting room. pretty disappointing.

  5. Well - with sincere apologies to my former coworkers - *that's* administrative bullshit if I ever heard it.

    It might be as simple as it became increasingly difficult to staff it, and they ran out of patience.

    "needed for a meeting room" is - to my mind - code for something else. But I don't know what, and I wish I did.

    and - hey, I left you a comment because i respect you, and I always liked you artwork. I'm an artist too (though not evident in my time at AEAC). I get it. :)

  6. thanks Jennifer! Yes...I agree, there is probably many reasons behind it...and I'm assured many of the reasons are positive ones for the AEAC, so I remain hopeful for positive change. Still disappointed though about losing the rental gallery in the AEAC building.

  7. So sorry to hear this Sally. Love your painting.

    XOXOXO Barbara


Go ahead...make my day. I love our mini-mails!