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Geraldton Victoria Hotel fire spurs Yamaji Art creativity

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Yamaji Arts gallery team soldier on in a small room at Pollinators City Hive. They expect to be back in their usual Marine Terrace premises by mid-April.
Camera IconYamaji Arts gallery team soldier on in a small room at Pollinators City Hive. They expect to be back in their usual Marine Terrace premises by mid-April. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian, Geoff Vivian

Yamaji Art’s management say they have maintained their usual business turnover despite temporarily closing the Marine Terrace art gallery after the February fire which gutted the old Victoria Hotel next door.

Manager Roni Kerley said while product sales were down since the fire, they had adopted different strategies.

“We’ve managed to do a lot of commission-based work and direct acquisitions to other cultural institutions such as the Australian Art Gallery and WA Museum,” she said.

“You don’t have to have a physical footprint to continue to operate — you think creatively when you have challenges.”

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Gum Tree Flower II by Charmaine, Jenny & Sheryl Green.
Camera IconGum Tree Flower II by Charmaine, Jenny & Sheryl Green. Credit: Yamaji Art/Supplied

She said the fire had not damaged any of the works on display or in stock.

Ms Kerley said the electricity was back on at the Marine Terrace premises and they expected to be reopening the gallery in about a fortnight.

“It’s a story of survival,” she said. “We’ve been around 21 years ... a fire’s not going to take that away from us.”

Together with gallery assistants Lily-Mae Kerley and Nicole Dickerson she has been soldiering on in a small room at nearby Pollinators City Hive.

This week Yamaji Art has also been participating in an online sale which is usually a large art exhibition at Fremantle Art Centre.

Ms Kerley said Yamaji Art had sent work to six previous Revealed Art Market shows, grossing up to $16,000 on one occasion, but it had been cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

This year’s online show had been running from Monday to Thursday this week.

Art for sale can be found online at www.fac.org.au.

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