Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking For a Studio Space In Wagga

I've spent the morning looking for a space which I can set up with other artists in Wagga.  What I want to do is have a space where I can invite the public for exhibitions artist talks and events much like a studio based ARI.

Myself and another Wagga artist inspected this warehouse-cross-shed in Ashmont.  We've started working together on this because there is absolutely nothing like it in Wagga Wagga.  Wagga Wagga is situated half way between Sydney and Melbourne, two cultural hubs of this country.  Despite the ARI activities that are going on in Sydney and Melbourne, Wagga Wagga has struggled to produce anything tht lasts.  There are ghost stories of old initiatives that pop up and dissappear almost as soon as they arrived.

The reason might be that real estate is extremely pricey.  Much of the properties around town approach the million dollar sale value and despite the abundance of empty and abandoned shops there seems to be little incentive for property owners to negotiate a reasonable lease.  Most properties are for sale and renting appears to be out of the question.  Some owners would rather keep the space empty and pay the $30K per year in council rates than have someone rent to help subsidize the cost.

As my accomplice put it today, Wagga can be a hard place to make your own.

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