New art gallery proving popular
A new Western Southland art gallery that’s been open for just seven months is off to a good start.
Otautau Gallery owner Pamela Hopkins has been delighted at the community response and the interest from visitors.
Dozens of original art works have been sold since the little gallery, inside the town’s former Methodist church, first opened in September.
‘‘It’s exceeded my expectations in these early days. We’re more than pleased.
‘‘We’ve sold paintings to Australia and America, but mainly it’s New Zealanders who are buying.
‘‘People have even come here to buy art that they’ve seen on our Facebook page.’’
Up to 14 groups had already visited, with some art groups arranging to come at night enjoying drinks, nibbles and art. ‘‘We’re definitely bringing people into the town.’’
Surprisingly, the town had proved a great location.
‘‘Otautau is well placed – you get a lot more traffic going through than you’d think.
‘‘We want the gallery to be a destination ... and gradually word is getting out.’’
Enjoying the new venture, Hopkins and her husband Robert McGowan said it was serendipity that had brought them here.
Although the couple have lived in Southland for decades, Pamela found the old church on Trademe three years ago and they renovated it over time.
‘‘Now as a natural progression we have all this wonderful art and people also know that the church is being taken care of.’’
McGowan agreed and said the gallery has a good vibe. ‘‘People come here and say wow – this is great. It’s an Aladdin’s cave.’’
Hopkins’ experience in the art world, including managing a Queenstown gallery, has seen her attract an array of top-class South Island artists.
‘‘We’re getting really good quality artists from all around New Zealand.’’
Pamela Hopkins’ new art gallery inside an old church in Otautau is proving popular.