Gecko celebrates 10 years
GECKO Studio Gallery opened its doors in Fish Creek on January 8, 2007 after five months of preparation.
Founded by Kerry Spokes and Michael Lester, Gecko is now a thriving business in a still relatively small but very much a bustling town.
The business started because Kerry found out that John Koenders of Studio Reflections Photography in Leongatha was selling his framing equipment.
Michael thought Kerry merely wanted to frame her own artworks on weekends but was quickly disabused of that notion.
All of a sudden he found himself building workbenches for the framing studio, painting the gallery building, and trying to figure out how to run an art gallery and framing business.
In late 2010 Adrian Johnson of Wonthaggi and late of the Framing Art Place (which had closed down) was quickly recruited to work at Gecko as the framer. Adrian is an award winning painter of sublime oil paintings as well as the Gecko framer.
Gecko was started as a commercial gallery to showcase contemporary art from local artists and from further afield.
Exhibitions have ranged from acrylics, oil paintings, watercolours and drawings through to pin-hole camera photography, marbled paper, chicken wire sculptures, paper collage, glass, stitched and painted silk and, of course, printmaking. To date, Gecko has staged 110 exhibitions.
The official opening was held on February 18, 2007, in plus-40°C heat and everyone hung out on the footpath as it was too hot in the gallery.
Col Suggett, sculptor and designer from Venus Bay, gave a speech “celebrating the conditions and outlook in this part of the world that allows the creation of such vibrant multi-faceted art businesses such as Gecko Studio Gallery”.
The gallery gradually filled with jewellery and ceramics and other artisan and craft items; much on consignment, mostly from locals with some from elsewhere.
The art materials started in a small way in around 2008 and also took off so that now there is a large selection always threatening to take over more exhibition space.
Gecko has run many art workshops over the years with a leaning towards printmaking but with forays out into drawing, watercolour and wood engraving.
Kerry’s artwork is an integral part of the business with some of her work translated into art cards, decorated tiles and limited edition prints, alongside her original artworks for sale. Future plans to extend their range and sales reach of tiles and cards produced by Gecko are afoot.
Kerry and Michael would like to thank their customers, supporters, current and past staff and everyone else who have helped them reach this point and invite everyone to a soirée between 6pm and 8pm, Friday, January 20 at Gecko Studio Gallery, 15 Falls Road, Fish Creek.
Phone 5683 2481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or look the gallery up on Facebook and Instagram.
There will a selection of images from the 10 years of Gecko on display and some speeches recounting times of interest over the last 10 years.
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