A Gallery by any other name. The Spice experience.
Aha the lovely spice art gallery. A community project set up in 1996. We tried so hard to make it work. But it wasn't meant to be. Thanks to the likes of Methodist Housing , we ran it for four years. I worked full time to support it, and made lots of stuff for the shop too. It was good times though, I had a lot of good friends and support off kind people like Advent management, a local Christian charity. We had so much fun and we enjoyed most of it. Unfortunately we let a couple of con men in near the end of the millennium, who proceeded to steal and lie etc. it summed up that it was time to go, and we closed in the beginning of 2000. The arts who'd have thought it was full of such scandal! We did vision fest, and had some cracking installations, two very memorable and press worthy exhibitions by Matthew Williams, a very controversial affair. However we did it for press and to help with funding. We were promised a lot and we received none from Artworks or the Hamilton Quarter. It was an amazing experience though. Our whole philosophy was to open up an internet cafe, first to do it too in the early 90's. when it was clear we wouldn't receive our promised funding we then aimed ourselves solely on promoting local artists from Merseyside. There were so many, and we took a small amount of commission and helped them get into other places. There is such snobbery around art, and most of it is basically the Emperor's New clothes. Do you know that fairy tale? About the con man who convinces the Emperor or King (depending on what country you live in) that he is making him an invisible set of clothes. Even though they don't exist because like most smart arses he doesn't want to admit he can't see them. So he goes out into the world naked. The famous song "the king is in the altogether, the altogether de dum de dum de dum." actually comes from the play. Same as the pretentious people who make out a tampon in a bucket of tapioca represents Michelle Obama giving birth. Do you know what? It's a big steaming pile of crap most of the time. It's just a sanitary product in a bucket of disgusting pudding. Back to the experience of Spice Community Art Gallery. Most of the artists supported us as much as we supported them. Giving as much if not more to us both financially and with love and kind words. We had a couple of exhibitions by invite only a year, and the rest of the time it was open to all. Five other galleries opened after us, and none of them made it work. When we left so did the others. It was fun and I put my heart and soul into it. I really did. It nearly finished me off at the time. So a little advice if you go into business, make sure you draw up a contract, don't pay anyone the same as you pay yourself unless they work as hard as you do, and don't trust the local substance abuse agency who takes credit for it for lottery funding. The most important thing I should be saying is this. ART IS FOR EVERYONE. Go create and multiply. Be all you can and God bless.