Harrington Street Gallery
In 1973, the John Ogburn Studio Club proposed that the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority consider making the space in the Old Evans Store on the 1st Floor of 36 Harrington Street, The Rocks, available as a gallery which would allow young and developing artists to exhibit their work and provide visitors to the Rocks area, both local and overseas, with another area of interest.
In October 1973, the Gallery held its first exhibition, and has since then mounted a new exhibition every three weeks except during the summer vacation.
In 1986 proposed developments in the Rocks, bringing with them the prospect of unmanageably large rental increases, made it necessary for the Co-operative to seek alternative premises. The present premises at 17 Meagher St. Chippendale, were found in late 1986. The new Harrington Street Gallery opened its doors to the public in February 1987 and has continued to operate most successfully since then.
The articles of Association of the Co-operative provide that “The purpose of the gallery is to exhibit to the public works of art of quality”. The gallery is therefore bound by its rules to put this before other considerations which must affect commercial galleries established for profit and which tend to exhibit only established artists and profitable works.
Exhibition costs are kept to a minimum through voluntary labour. Directors, who are elected annually, receive no remuneration. The gallery is staffed by members and friends on a voluntary basis.
As the gallery is a non-profit co-operative, it has been granted exemption from tax by the Commissioner of Taxation and in 1986, the Commissioner granted the gallery the status of ‘Donee of Tax Deductable Gifts’, which means that gifts to the gallery can now be claimed as a tax deduction.
For fifty years, without any outside funding, the Gallery has maintained its original aims of providing, young and developing artists, the opportunity to exhibit their work, at the same time making a substantial contribution to the artistic life of Sydney.