Forced out of its premises in January this year following a proposed rent hike of 200%, Kemistry Gallery has determined not only to find a bigger and better permanent home, but to formally re-establish itself as a Not-For-Profit (NFP) organisation, thereby paving the way for its new incarnation as the UK’s first public gallery dedicated to exploring the history and future frontiers of graphic design.
Kemistry Gallery, the much-loved and much-acclaimed Shoreditch institution that over the course of a decade has established itself at the forefront of celebrating and supporting the very best in graphic design, has today committed to becoming a public gallery. In so doing it will become the first organisation in the UK dedicated to exhibiting this vibrant and vitally important art form. Graham McCallum, Kemistry Gallery’s co-founder and director explains: “Like many wonderful things, Kemistry Gallery started life as a labour of love, and a happy accident. Me and my business partner Ricky Churchill moved the offices of our design agency Kemistry to an emergent creative hub in London called Shoreditch back in 2004, and found ourselves in possession of a potentially fantastic exhibition space on the ground floor. So we started showing graphic design work – work by influential icons like Saul Bass and Ken Garland, and future greats like Parra and Ben Eine who we really believe in, and we felt deserved a break and some exposure.”
The new incarnation of Kemistry Gallery will be funded through a sustainable mix of self-generated income (such as print sales and events), donations and private philanthropy, and the support of public funds where available. The curatorial mission will retain at its core a commitment to showing cutting edge new work, and presenting to contemporary audiences the practice of past masters of the art form. Alongside its exhibitions, Kemistry Gallery will also expand its current programme of educational engagement and public talks, providing opportunities for students, design professionals and members of the art-loving public to debate current trends and future prospects for design and visual culture.
For further reading please view the recent piece by the guardian here.