Artist-run organization in charge of the LSPU Hall gives its gallery the boot. In a nice way.
Elling Lien and Bryhanna Greenough make sense of the break-up.
RCA is saying goodbye to another section of its organization, and is bidding farewell to its early goal of cultivating all forms of art in Newfoundland.
At a special members meeting on Sunday, the 30-year-old umbrella organization’s members cast their votes and the decision was made to shift the Resource Centre for the Arts’ mandate to focus primarily on the performing arts.
The vote was 25 to 1. RCA Visual, the section in charge of the Hall’s gallery, will officially break off and move out of the LSPU Hall to a not-yet-decided location in June. It will incorporate and become another non-commercial artist-run gallery, much like the Eastern Edge. The RCA board is offering $15,000 over two years to the new organization to help with the transition.
This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Last year, Neighbourhood Dance Works made a similar kind of split from RCA.
The change is imagined to benefit all groups.
For RCA Visual, having an art gallery in the lobby of a theatre has posed practical problems that just haven’t gone away. A new location would better allow for installation art and conceptual uses of space, rather than having to accommodate reception crowds.
As it is now, only one RCA Visual representive sits on the entire RCA board of directors. If Neighbourhood Dance Works is any indication, having a mandate focused exclusively on the visual arts is a step towards securing more outside funding.
As for RCA Theatre Company, opening up the new space has allowed them to finally agree on a renovation plan. They have decided to turn the former gallery space into a second, cabaret-style theatre with lower rental costs. Their aim is to attract more emerging talent while helping to cover their operatingcosts.
“Once upon a time we could provide for all of the arts community in this one building but the community has grown and we can’t do that anymore,” writer and actor Lois Brown said at the meeting. “The will is there, but we can’t do it all in this building.”