Habitat Restore launches art gallery
The newest Hamilton art gallery is located in a thrift shop, but there is nothing second hand about the artwork.
Habitat for Humanity Bermuda officially launched the gallery earlier this month, two years after opening Restore in the old Blucks building.
“When Blucks was functioning as a high-end china store, Sheilagh Head had a gallery upstairs,” Habitat chairwoman Sheelagh Cooper said.
“She came to me recently to remind me of those days. We decided to resurrect the gallery portion of the building. That brought others in. Since there are not many galleries left in Bermuda, and no place for these artists to show their work, we opened the door to three other artists.”
The Habitat Gallery officially opened earlier this month featuring the work of local artists Sheilagh Head, Shaunagh Butler, Andy Detzer and Diana Amos. Their art sells at anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Ms Cooper actually began hanging their art on the walls as far back as January, in a casual way.
As soon as the work went up, she saw an uptick in the foot traffic at Restore.
“People are drawn into the store when they see the art,” Ms Cooper said. “That helps us sell our second hand household furnishings. So it is a very nice mixture. The art complements the furniture and vice versa.”
They have also seen interest from visitors getting off the cruise ships.
Habitat for Humanity Bermuda takes a 30 per cent commission from the artwork sold in the Habitat Gallery. All proceeds go to their projects, such as their new Transformational Living Centre in Pembroke for families in need.
“All of the proceeds from the thrift store side of things goes to Habitat for Humanity Bermuda,” Ms Cooper said. “And none of our proceeds go offshore. And Restore has no paid staff. They are all volunteers.”
Mr Detzer said Ms Head approached him about displaying his work at Restore a few months ago at Fourways Inn, where he works as general manager.
Since 2010 he has become well known for his surreal reflection photography of subjects such as gombeys and sailboats.
“She had seen my artwork at the restaurant,” Mr Detzer said. “She asked if I would display some of my work at the gallery. I have not looked back since. Sheilagh has been a phenomenal sales person.”
His work started selling immediately.
“It took me two days and then I had to restock,” he said.
He was only too happy to find this new sales outlet.
“One of the challenges is getting my work exposed to people on the island,” Mr Detzer said.
It is helpful because he does not have a lot of time to shop around for locations to sell his work. Balancing his restaurant career with his art can be challenging, and sometimes he has to put his art on hold for a period. He tends to tackle his art late at night and in the early hours of the morning.
For more information see www.habitat.bm, @RestoreBermuda on Facebook, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 296-0256.