It was on this day 28 years ago that a refurbished shop front situated at 11 Watt Street, Newcastle, opened its doors for the very first ever Watt Space Opening.
This student run gallery was the initiative of three Art and Design students Jacquie Henderson, George Drewery and Brian Bully who after protests to the SRC for fairer distribution of Union funds for the Fine Arts Faculty, where given a budget of $100 a week to realise their dream. Drawing on their personal skillsets the three fitted out the shop front and rallied the support of local business for sponsorship and advertising. And so it was that Watt Space Gallery was born!!!
Fast forward a staggering 28 years and Watt Space Gallery, still run by University students, has evolved from its humble shopfront beginning to the grandeur of Northumberland House.
Watt Space has a legacy of dedicated and talented students, artists and professionals who have all played their role in its success. The gallery has showcased, supported and mentored almost 30,000 student artists over this time. Still today it serves to provide a space for students to learn invaluable skills including curation, marketing, installation, collaboration, fundraising, administration, events planning, and professional practice.
These opportunities for Students to gain experience within the Arts sector can be the professional edge needed in an often challenging and competitive industry. Something noted by University of Newcastle Lecturer, Professional Artist and former Newcastle University student Dr Deidre Brollo
“The first and most profound stumbling block for emerging artists is the transition between Art School and professional practice. Watt Space Gallery is one of the very few bridges that make that crossing possible, enabling art students to become artists”
Celebrate with Watt Space tonight at the Official THIS IS NOT ART launch and Crack Theatre Festival commencing 5:30pm at Watt Space Gallery.