Artist pops up with shop idea

ARTIST Pam Paterson knows exactly what should be done with all the empty shops in the Ballina CBD.

"We should turn them into pop-up galleries," she said.

"I think it would be an excellent use of the space and it would bring people into town."

A member of BACCI (Ballina Arts and Craft Centre Incorporated) and the Ballina Art Society, Ms Paterson said she had talked to many artists who agreed it would be a good idea.

In an effort to turn this idea into reality, Ballina Shire councillor and Greens mayoral hopeful Jeff Johnson will put up a motion for discussion at Thursday's meeting.

"I'll be asking the council to call for expressions of interest for pop-up galleries in council-owned shops in the centre of town," Cr Johnson said.

"This is something that could be a win-win situation.

"I'm sure the other traders in town would love to have those empty shops filled and to see more people coming into town.

"This is an easy solution while we wait and see what is going to happen with Wigmore Arcade, and it won't cost much.

"Wigmore Arcade could become more of a destination instead of a thoroughfare."

Ms Paterson said it would also give a much-needed boost to the local art community.

"In tough economic times such as these, it gets really tough for artists," she said.

"We are usually the first people to lose out when money is tight. I am sure local artists would love the opportunity to put up their works in high-profile locations such as Wigmore Arcade.

"Artists around here have actually been talking about something like this for a while.

"There are pop-up galleries in Lismore which are quite effective."



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