With 23 empty shops along Fitzroy Street St Kilda waiting to be rented, there has been much debate in state and local government, as well as among property developers and on the streets, as to why Fitzroy Street; from Grey Street down to the beach has become a tumble-weed zone.
Mobile artist Tommy Langra working at his draughtsman buggy
Inspired by the May St Kilda Art Crawl and with assistance from owners of 33 Fitzroy Street, Jenny Li and husband Rob Semple, GRID ART SPACE (GAS) organized a group of local artists to join forces. The result is an outstanding high-end pop-up art gallery in the middle of this neglected zone, to show what can be done with talent and teamwork.
This is the second time GRID ART SPACE in association with St Kilda Art Crawl hosted a pop-up art gallery in that space. GAS is a collaboration between Shakespeare Grove artist Adrian Spurr and producer / publicist Kerrie Pacholli with the aim to fill empty spaces with art and culture to bring about growth.
With encouraging sales on both occasions, the organizers received much praise from delighted visitors with encouragement to keep it open. But this of course can only happen with the community support of both local and state government.
With the debate still open most would agree that this collaborative artistic and cultural inclusion added much needed prestige to an otherwise depressed local economy.