Gallery VanGo

Gallery VanGo

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The Idea

Gallery VanGo is a portable exhibition space that provides emerging artist with an alternative to the standard art gallery and brings art out into the public sphere. VanGo takes small-scale exhibitions to various events across the ACT, helping to engage the community with visual art.

For artists, this means an affordable platform to display their art, gain experience in exhibiting, and expose their art to a new and more diverse range of people. For the public, this means skipping the expense of large gallery exhibitions and the effort of journeying out to inconvenient locations. VanGo also helps to engage members of the community who are curious about art, but would not necessarily go out of their way to attend an exhibition, or who might feel uncomfortable in the formal gallery environment.

For the events themselves, VanGo takes the effort out of organising an exhibition, as it arrives already assembled, curated, and ready to be viewed. VanGo provides events with a unique method of entertaining and engaging the public, helping to draw more diverse audiences to their functions.

The Market

VanGo has three main customer segments. These are the emerging artists exhibiting in the gallery space, the art-consuming public, and the events which would host the exhibition. For an emerging artist, this space would help them achieve the functional job of exhibiting their work. As art school students/graduates ourselves, the VanGo team have spoken to a number of emerging artists about their difficulties. For most, the expense of exhibiting is their greatest barrier to achieving this job. In Canberra, it can cost artists anywhere from $200 - $2700 to hold an exhibition. VanGo helps emerging artists to exhibit for free, allowing them to gain greater exposure and develop their professional skills in exhibiting and curating work.

The public do the social or emotional job of viewing and potentially buying art. Speaking to a number of young adults, many complain about the expense of visiting ticketed exhibitions, as well as the inconvenience of getting to a gallery and, once there, feeling that it’s an ‘elitist’ space. VanGo brings free exhibitions to festivals and community events, allowing people to enjoy art, without having to go out of their way to seek it out. VanGo would seek to be hosted by festivals or community events, such as Floriade or the multicultural festival. Such events openly advertise their enthusiasm to engage the public in the arts and rely on artistic innovations to draw in new customers. VanGo will also seek funding from government programs that hope to enrich people’s lives through public art, such as the ANU School of Art Community Outreach Program.

The Competition

In bringing their art to the public, artists’ current main option is to use one of Canberra’s galleries. While exhibiting helps emerging artists to gain professional experience, increase their public exposure, provide networking opportunities, and allow them to sell works; it is also difficult to compete with more experienced artists and is prohibitively expensive for many. Focussing on encouraging emerging artists, VanGo would provide these benefits to the artist, with less competition and expense.
The conventional gallery is also a key way that the public consumes art. However, this also has the disadvantage of its restrictive hours, location, and often expense. VanGo would optimise access to the arts outside the restrictions of scheduled gallery viewing hours and provides a less expensive alternative to costly exhibitions at these institutions.
For events across Canberra, there are limited options when it comes to including a Visual Art aspect. Often performers are engaged to provide creative entertainment, but in order to host an actual exhibition of art, there is a great deal of effort involved, particularly in terms of finding space, artists, and curators. VanGo provides the unique opportunity for events to book and utilise a mobile gallery space, with a show that is already organised and curated ahead of time. Its portable environment gives events organizers the chance to network with clients, increase sales, provide a unique service to their events, and to draw in diverse audiences.

The Vision

VanGo exhibitions audience is vast and varied. At the forefront of this venture project is providing emerging artists with gallery representation. Equally, is providing viewers with an exhibition space unlike that of a traditional gallery setting. In addition to these core public stakeholders, VanGo exhibitions could appeal to a variety of prospective audiences in creative fields, such as the tourism industry.

VanGo's vision is to bring art to people. With this in mind, there is scope to bring art to those in rural areas. VanGo's mobile gallery space allows emerging creatives and spectators in these regions to showcase and view works in a potentially more accessible way. The future for VanGo exhibitions could see it expand into a franchise with a number of vans operating in metropolitan and rural areas. Curatorial, artist talks, gallery representation, the sale of art and collaborating with events/festivals are services we hope to provide. And future services could expand to include educational workshops for schools, sale of merchandise for exhibiting artists and promotional materials

Mentor Pitch

Exhibiting art is important for helping artists gain exposure, experience, connections, and sell their work; as well as being an enriching experience for those who engage with it. However, for emerging artists, the huge price tag that comes with an exhibition, often makes it unachievable. Members of the public have also expressed a dissatisfaction with the standard gallery, as an exclusive and sometimes expensive environment. VanGo hopes to bring small-scale art shows to events across Canberra, allowing emerging artists to exhibit more affordably, and engaging more of the public with the arts, in an inclusive space. As emerging artists, curators, and creatives ourselves, our team is uniquely suited to understanding our customers’ needs and struggles. We would love guidance from someone interested in the arts and social enterprises, who can help us develop our business and find ways to make our project financially self-sufficient and appealing to investors.

The Customer Experience

VanGo exhibitions has the potential to engage with customers in a number of ways. Our clients (artists, events organisers, or the art-viewing public generally) can find out about us through our website, our social media platforms, through word of mouth in the arts community, and through poster, placed in relevant locations, such as galleries and art schools. They can also find out about us through seeing us on facebook events, that we’ll be attending, or by coming across us by chance at events. As we offer gallery exhibition services, applying to exhibit can be done through consultations and through our website. Booking exhibitions for events can also be done through a consultation, and through our website.

A good way of maintaining our relationship with our customers is by keeping them informed on our next exhibitions, through mailing list sign-ups and encouraging people to follow our social media. We highly encourage reviews and service surveys after they have exhibited, hired or viewed our exhibition space through our website and social media platforms. For the artists that exhibit with us, we seek to maintain contact of they wish to show with us again for future exhibitions.

The Team

As visual artists, our team is suited to this venture, as we are passionate about engaging the community with the arts and understand many of the pains faced by emerging artists. As well, we have networks within the Canberra arts community, giving us access to a wealth of skill sets; from creating art to running a gallery. We are also personally experienced in curating, exhibiting, and selling art. Currently, we are communicating with ANCA gallery, to learn more about similar projects that they have on the horizon, and learning how we can support each other.

Key Resources

For VanGo exhibitions to eventuate, funding is required for the basic start up costs. These costs would include the acquisitions of a mobile vehicle, possible changes or additions the vehicle as a space, insurance, the equipment needed for hanging art, and the registration costs associated with our venture project. In this early stage, we would need support from interested parties, with skills in marketing, graphic design, and business development. Or those with experience in running a gallery space, as well as tradespeople to help oversee the initial stages of the venture.
VanGo will continue to develop networks in the arts community, to encourage emerging artists to pursue us for future exhibitions, as well as engaging volunteers to help us with the hanging and organising of exhibitions. Shortly, potential collaborators will able to contact us through our website, social media, email, or phone.