Based in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Junior Space captures the multi-faceted nature of many creative spaces. Proving that size is no barrier - Junior Space provides a curated gallery, retail store, and a space for workshops, launches and screenings. We spoke to founder and curator Bec Capp.
“The ‘Junior’ in Junior Space comes from being physically small - and just because you are small, doesn’t mean you cannot have big aspirations and achievements.” Bec Capp
How did the Junior Space concept come about…and who is involved?
Junior Space was developed by founder and curator Bec Capp and opened in May of 2016. After finding the art world quite a challenging industry, Bec hoped to increase accessibility and opportunity for local artists, in addition to being a launching platform for both emerging and more established artists across the country.
The ‘Junior’ in Junior Space comes from being physically small - and just because you are small, doesn’t mean you cannot have big aspirations and achievements. The space has a focus on work that is new, playful and process driven.
Why do you feel there is a need for a resource such as Junior Space in Fitzroy?
Fitzroy was chosen for the location of Junior Space due to its accessibility for those who live in either north or south CBD suburbs, as well as for it being a place to go to see art.
Over a year ago when the space opened, there were galleries very close by that have since closed or moved away. The rising prices of rent and new developments in Fitzroy and Collingwood are drastically reducing the number of places for local and emerging art to be seen in this area.
Could you tell us about the people who are already using the space, and those you hope to attract?
People that use the space are artists and local creatives. We have hosted workshops, launches, screenings, pop-ups alongside our exhibition program. We hope to attract likeminded people that are doing interesting and inspiring things.
What was required to secure the space?
Bec rents the space from a real estate agency.
What were the costs?
It was not cheap setting up the space. Bond, rent in advance and paying for the fit out. This being said, the space looks incredible for the very small budget that was available.
What were the resources available to you?
Junior Space had an incredible amount of support in the beginning from friends and family. Bec’s Dad and brother are both builders and her good friend and interior designer Marijne Vogel designed the fit out, they were all incredibly invaluable resources at the beginning (and still prove to be very helpful to this day!).
What were/are the obstacles and how did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle at the start, and which continues to be a big obstacle, is the $$. Junior Space recently ran a successful kickstarter campaign to help keep the doors open and we hope that we can secure a grant in the near future.
The other obstacle was letting people know that Junior Space existed - persistence, spending time on marketing strategies, along with great exhibitions and events, helped Junior Space develop its audience.
What were/are the risks?
Opening the space was (and still is) a huge financial risk for Bec. The space was designed to be able to sustain itself as a not-for-profit rather than to be a commercial gallery.
Volunteers keep the space running day to day and Junior Space would be lost without them.
How do you foresee Junior Space evolving over time and what are your future plans?
We have just undergone a restructure of the space revealing a second gallery space. This allows the gallery to expand on the roster of artists we exhibit. The new gallery space will take the name JS1 while the existing space will become JS2.
Our much-loved retail space is also part of the renovation and shares the upstairs gallery with JS2. Prints, photo books and zines, original artworks, ceramics, sculpture, photography, jewellery and homewares by primarily Melbourne based artists are all still available to explore.
The emphasis on accessibility continues in the store, with artworks ranging from $5 to $1200.