How it all started - what happens next!

Seems a lifetime since I started Noticeboard -  craft newsletter althought it is only 14 months ago.(May 07)
Then in October 07 I started this blog  www.irishcraftupdate.com/blog, and soon followed with  setting up the Irish Craft Association*,then started monthly meetings called Feedback*for artists and crafts people to meet and get together to network and move forward in their businesses. (1st Thurs of each month in Blackrock)

On 13th December 07 I opened up the Expose Yourself Gallery, displaying art and photography from emerging and up and coming artists that were willing to get out there and sell their work!

On the 19th of January I took on the Craft Rooms* in Blackrock for people to use to teach from and on the 31st of January I opened the Gallery craft shop in DunLaoire.

It has been a busy 14 months!

The Gallery closed as did the craft shop due to rent negotiations going badly and so I took the bull by the horns and contacted Ben Dunne – knowing he was interested in looking after the ‘young artists’ .
After a meeting I am now running the Nora Dunne Gallery* in Terenure!

Nora Dunne Gallery
What a magnificent building – 5000sq feet, with 3 teaching rooms* above it! (I divided upstairs as the space was big enough for there to be more than one class running at a time.) The teaching rooms* are perfect, all having a large sink with ample lighting for big and small classes.
The Gallery will still be looking after the emerging artists, with many well known names thrown in.
I am also doing the interior design of the Gallery and have input on all aspects of the build, to make this the Gallery to be in.

Coming from an interior design background I am making it spacious but also using the huge building to its capacity. Great 4 meter high ceiling in the main Gallery, with the most modern gallery lighting system.

We have an exhibition space* that a person can rent out. It is so big we can divide it for two people to use at the same time and also make it more cost effective for the artists..

So when does it open I hear so many people ask??

We are aiming for late October, but Ben Dunne will make sure everything is right before we open the doors…and I have to add his builder is one in a million so I have no doubt that it will be spectacular!

This goes back to the comment I keep saying that all the experience you have in your life will be used again. I have just finished the logo and the design of the reception area. The Interior design years, the renovation years, the CAD courses and managing the Bar in town, and clothes shop in London have all been great experience. All I have to do now is find the perfect staff, enough art and crafts to fill this space and keep coming up with  all the ideas I had before.  The times I walked around introducing myself to people at Art Ireland, Craft Fairs and Stephens Green are all paying off as I have a huge selection of people I would love to display work for.

The Nora Dunne will have the same principles as I had before.
Artists will be paid for their sold work quickly (within 14 days).
• There will be a small commission (25% on artwork) so the customer gets a good deal and will make the artwork sell quicker.

• We will have a short hanging time to let the artists be in full control of their work, as I believe that artists are all self-employed and should be not be tied down to long commitments.

The Nora Dunne Gallery will still have friendly staff that will be on hand to give advice and assistance with all queries to artists and customers. It should be like calling into a friends place and being able to see fantastic art hanging for all to buy!

What can I say, an amazing opportunity, I had asked for someone to come along and give me a building and let me keep going as I had been, but this is better…..be careful what you wish for!

(Yes Ben Dunne is a great guy to work for, very fair, open to new ideas, a business head like no other and has the ability to get things done!)

Bang…just landed on my feet! Hard work pays off.


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3 comments ↓

#1 Mary Varilly on 08.04.08 at 11:56 pm

Karen,
You and your vision are going from strength to strength and giving a lot of people a push in their own careers along the way. Well done you, and lang may yer lum reek!
Mary V. xxx

#2 daire on 08.13.08 at 4:24 pm

hi lady! what a great bio that was, a lovely neat story-so-far. I’m really excited to get a look at the whole thing, cant wait for opening day! great to have the happy pear boys involved to, they’re great guys and every thing they touch does seem to turn to gold. well done and good luck! Daire xx

#3 Elaine on 02.18.09 at 8:15 pm

Well done Karen! Cant wait to visit the new gallery.

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