The article Nearly a third of Gillman Barracks galleries have decided not to renew their leases written by Deepika Shetty, focuses on the reasons why Gillman Barracks has lost five of its seventeen art galleries. The five art galleries decided not to renew their lease after three years displaying their products on the premises. The five galleries are Equator Art Projects, The Drawing Room, Silverlens, Tomio Koyama and Space Cottonseed. After from Silverlens and The Drawing Room that mainly focuses on contemporary from Filipino, the rest showcases art from the broader Asia. The most common reason cited in the article is that the number of local collectors is very limited contrary to what they had expected. The residents feel that regardless of the premises effort to bring more infrastructural advancements, they introduced too late a year after.
The article explains that block 47 was the most affected since is located in the most interior part of the gallery, four of the five are galleries were located in that location. Deepika Shetty, the art correspondent, explains how this exit is a blow to the premises since they had spent ten million dollars in the renovation of the gallery. Other minor reasons for the closure of the art galleries such as the late introduction of pop-up events, better signage, covered walkways and more food and beverage options. The tenants still complain that the gallery still lacks a reasonably priced cafe, which is a significant setback. Hence, the program cannot sustain its visitors or sales.
The closure of the art galleries is minor and can be collected easily, the premises lack proper management that foresees the impact of the existing of art galleries within its first three years. The gallery is situated in a very strategic place next to NTU Centre for Contemporary Art(CCA) which is the most important and the most significant tenant in the barrack. Therefore it should be in a position to attract more visitors. Regardless of some of the art galleries renewing the license and others expanding their businesses, failure to see beyond that success is what will lead to more and more galleries closing up.
To maintain sustainability, the tenants and other stakeholders should push the management to address their issues. The management should also bring more exciting events and opportunities to help increase traffic. The idea of bringing new developments; such as F&B outlets, non-profit art and the introduction of creative businesses will go a long way in ensuring that traffic is contained. In the end, if the issues addressed in the article are looked upon, Gillman Barracks could end up becoming better than how the residents had anticipated. According to the article, the tenants are quite optimistic that the gallery has potential to get better from a long-term perspective. Regardless of the failure to maintain its tenants, some of the businesses have been quite successful, and hence with a little modification, the long-awaited success could be achieved.
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