When we opened the iGallery in 2013 as a tourist information point and showcase for local artists and crafts makers, we consulted widely and went with the name iGallery.
The first year we had a small amount of funding for a part time post to help run this project as a pilot and take it forwards. In 2014 it was held together by a couple of volunteers which was far from ideal. However the concept has proven to be a successful one. Tourists made return visits and locals have been regular supporters. Exhibitors and the space has changed over the first two years, in 2014 we put in a partition wall to create two new office spaces. This makes the space more cosy, but did decrease the wall space available. We also had a Christmas Fair for the first time this winter, this went brilliantly and gave some exhibitors record sales.
From the success of the Winter fair, came a robust discussion with all parties about how to proceed in 2015. Now that the project is well established there was a willing from the exhibitors to take on the tenancy of the space as a autonomous group. The loose partnership between LCDC ( KWHG ) and all the individuals had been rather organic and the time has come to clarify roles and responsibilities, as well as everyone being able to plan and budget effectively. The “Crafters” have formed an informal steering group for now, separate from LCDC and are currently moving a pace with plans for a great art & crafts display Opening in Easter 2015. LCDC will still have a display of some items for sale and the Visitor Information stands will still form a part of the space. The idea is still to act as an information point to signpost people to what is available locally and to increase visitors to the whole area- as well as for local crafts makers artists and food producers to have an outlet for their products. Each exhibitor will pay a rental for a small space as before, this way the local micro-businesses can match their income generating potential with outlay. Everyone takes part in staffing the shop, to give makers that all important customer face to face time.
The next issue was the name. While many people liked the “iGallery” some still found it confusing. The blue “i” was not universally recognised as a symbol for “information”, and some felt that ” Gallery ” was too exclusive. The nuances of language are so different to different people ! So after much discussion we have decided to call it :
“Made in Lochcarron”
We are still working on logo’s and strap lines, but we have set up a twitter feed: @LochcarronMade
and a facebook page www.facebook.com/madeinlochcarron
The admin work is spread across the group, different roles have provisionally been allocated, fundraising events are planned, and now we have the name in place things are moving very fast. Watch this space, another LCDC baby is up and running on its own feet!
We’d love to hear from artists, makers and producers who’d like to find out more about taking on a space with us. We don’t have a separate e-mail yet, but you can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org
Post script June 2015 – The ‘Made in Lochcarron’ group have disbanded and the shop and Gallery has now reverted back to being the “iGallery”, run by LCDC more news here .