LOCALS ONLY: John Loose has opened a new gallery in Lismore based on his love of local art, and he aims to give artists a chance to showcase their works.
LOCALS ONLY: John Loose has opened a new gallery in Lismore based on his love of local art, and he aims to give artists a chance to showcase their works. Marc Stapelberg

‘Art will save the world’, says Lismore gallery owner

THE BUSINESS model of the Loose Gallery in Lismore is as unconventional as the art on its walls.

Owner and curator, John Loose, explained, "I keep 10 percent in commissions and I tend to buy 20 percent of the works - partly to cheer up the artists. Most fledgling artists are pretty demoralised most of the time.

According to The Loose Gallery manifesto, "Loose Gallery was a loose idea at a local cafe.

"Having been refused a refill on my teapot I decided to set out on the right foot to establish a local art and public interest showroom.

So I picked up my wallet and purchased a loose building in Magellan Street opposite Oakes Oval ..."

Mr Loose admits he is the owner of a 'very substantial wallet' and real estate portfolio gifted from his investor and artist father who died five years ago.

"My dad was a very hard working individual and he ferreted it all away. We reunited after many years distant from each other. I am an only child. So he entrusted it all to me. I helped him move on out of this world and looked after him for his last few years," he said.

Mr Loose said he likes nothing better than to facilitate debut exhibitions for fledgling artists.

"I genuinely believe that art will save the world. But there are not enough people doing it. There are not enough people who even recognise that they are artist deep down. That's their deepest craving, yet they are stuck in maudlin jobs, doing maudlin activities. Given half a chance they would recognise their talent exists," he said.

"Ultimately, I'm in it for fun. I'm in it to promote local artists and I have to get joy out of it because the truth is, there is very little money to be made in an art gallery in Lismore. Ask any gallery owner. If they are honest, they are paying out of the own pocket to keep on going," he said.

"My only criteria is that this is strictly for locals.

More more information: loosegallery.com.au



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