"We are really excited to announce that Wasps has purchased its first building in the highlands!
Wasps have been keen to expand the network into the Highlands for some time and will now set to work on our latest studio project in the Links School building in Nairn.
Our new development in Nairn will offer 10 studios and a social space that will meet the needs of creative people working locally. It will be a place where people from different creative paths can work under one roof to share ideas, skills and collaborate."
Great news! Could be a real catalyst for Nairn as a centre for creative arts. "Come to Fishertown - the Arts Quarter of the Royal Burgh" :-)
Are they going to have a gallery people can visit and buy any artwork they like? A great opportunity for a wee tourist attraction being so close to the links! If not thought about might I suggest it is seriously considered.
Not sure there'll be room for a galley, plus there's the likes of public liability insurance and staffing
Maybe the Laing hall is more appropriate?
They certainly do Xmas sales of artists' works in other Wasps studios Sheena. Good idea - perhaps ANB might get in touch with their HQ to suggest? email@example.com
Good that a historic building in Fishertown is getting a new lease of life in this way.
But what does this mean for Blue Door Studios, the space on Nairn High Street which is currently managed by the WASPS arts organisation? It would be a pity if the resurrection of the Links School was at the cost of leaving more empty premises on the High Street.
Perhaps WASPS could pick up on the suggestion already made and turn the High Street space into a public gallery for display and exhibitions?
It would indeed be nice to see a gallery on the High St, anywhere else, what about the old bingo hall?
Sheena has written to WASPS here is the text of her message:
"I recently read that the deal is done for wasps to take over the school for the artists to use.
I am and have been on the Association of Nairn Businesses committee and presently am lead on the Nairn Economic Initiative.
I think very serious thought should be given to having an area the public, be they tourists or residents of Nairn, can visit to see the work the artistes produce.
It would make an excellent visitor attraction being so close to the links car park and also the town.
Any problems such as manning it can easily be over come with a system of artists on a rota. Each one could take an afternoon and when a bell rang they could go to the gallery to given information on the wasps setup and to sell any/or take contact details for any work someone seriously wants to buy.
I visit Melrose regularly and there is a small craft shop in the centre of the town where a variety of crafts from a reasonable numbers of crafters is displayed and for sale. They each take a turn in manning the shop and have found it to be an excellent way to promote and sell there products.
Any insurance would/could be added into the insurance you will already need to allow the gallery to proceed.
Forgive me Sheena if you've already done this but wouldn't it have been better to have talked to the artists at The Blue Door to find out what they wanted from their new space? (they might not want a gallery)
WASPS Open Studios happens each year when the public can visit their buildings and see work in situ, meet the artists and even buy work at discounted prices ( most commercial galleries take upwards of 40% and the artist pays the V.A.T. ) Nairn's Blue Door studios also open during the NBAF too but the building will primarily be a place of production for the artists and craft workers who will populate it. Could Nairn support a commercial gallery? I have my doubts that it could but in having increased studio provision, an active arts community and a growing population with disposable income it may come in time.
Once minor upgrading work is completed on the building more information will be reported I'm sure but anyone wishing to know more about WASPS or if they might be interested in renting a studio should look at their website and apply directly to them.
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