Little Space, Big Heart

The White Room Co has recently popped up in the arts scene and already it’s making a big splash.

When the team at Jumprope, a marketing and design agency, were first presented with the idea of becoming part of the Palmerston North City Council’s Placemaking Initiative, they were excited to bring some new ideas to the table.

Brendan and GregInspired by the already successful spaces that had been established around the city, they wanted to come up with a concept that would transform the corner of Fitzherbert Avenue and College Street into a new and engaging spot that people from all around Manawatu would be proud of.

Utilising unused space in the former Volume 1 book store, what started as a pop-up gallery concept soon became a much bigger collaborative project between the team at Jumprope, Greg Wilson Photography and the building’s owners Michelle and John van Lienen.

With the view to developing a space that not only enhanced the street appeal but was functional and gave back to the community, The White Room Co was created to give emerging artists a platform from which to exhibit and sell their work in a market that they might not otherwise have access to.

The White Room Co has also developed resources and networks that allow each new artist to host an opening event and run an exhibition

As existing galleries around the region have greater barriers to entry, The White Room Co wanted to provide artists with a space that they could help to build, share and be proud of.

The concept of ‘collaboration’ was the key factor in forming The White Room Co and was at the forefront of the minds of the team as they began to build a place that allowed emerging talent to grow. The artists wanting to exhibit have embraced this idea and their friends, families and the local community have all welcomed the chance to pitch in too by helping with everything from hanging exhibits and organising opening events to gallery maintenance and, of course, spreading the word.

Looking inDesigned specifically to be a blank canvas, the group agreed to donate the capital needed and the building underwent renovations to shape it into an industrial-style, light-filled environment suitable for any kind of art.

More than just offering a nice space, The White Room Co has also developed resources and networks that allow each new artist to host an opening event and run an exhibition for between two and four weeks, with added support from the team to help make sure that their time in the gallery is worthwhile and fulfilling.

The White Room Co charges a small commission to cover the costs of running the gallery and invites artists of all backgrounds and disciplines to submit brief portfolios for selection and scheduling.