Last Thursday saw the opening of what is sure to be one of the Gold Coast's latest art hotspots. Run by five university students who saw a niche in the evolving Gold Coast art scene, Lmtdspace has opened up a creative outlet for artists to exhibit freely. If the overflow of bodies crammed into the art gallery on Thursday night is anything to go by, Lmtdspace has anything but a limited future.
Who is behind LMTDSPACE?
There is a blend of talents in the team: two Honours Fine Art students, Melissa Spratt and myself, Joshua White, a co-founder and photographer, Virginia Fisher, [who has] a blend of skills from management to interior styling, and Aish Saffigna, the artist whisperer.
How old are you?
We are all gen y; I am the oldest at 25 but our ages range from 20 – 25.
How did the idea come about to open an art gallery while you’re still studying at university?
The idea came after taking a marketing course at university and sitting there listening to the teachers talk and then realising I could apply that lesson to real world opportunities. I then met up with Joshua - we started working on the idea and Lmtdspace was born.
Why the name LMTDSPACE?
When we first started we were emerging artists just looking for a space to exhibit our artworks. So we felt limited, but the ABR wouldn’t register ltd space, so we got creative and dropped an M to create ‘Lmtdspace’.
What makes LMTDSPACE different from other art galleries on the Gold Coast?
We are different because we are here to cater for the emerging artists and create a pathway for said artists to gain professional contact with commercial galleries and so forth. It’s a niche that is currently unrivalled on the Coast.
Which artists are exhibited at LMTDSPACE?
We exhibit local, national and international artists. Our first show, ‘Human Identity’ was a combination of Queensland College of Art students and Gold Coast locals.
In our upcoming, ’12 x 12’ show we are exhibiting: Martina Clarke, Alex Dunson, Emmy Peterson, Elly Beamer, Shane Lubich, Aurelie Maron, Dave Lydiard, Sarah Huston, Deane Featonby, Katie Tooth, Claire Hastings, Bennett Gordon, Melissa Spratt, Jaala Alex, Libbi Reed, Jacinda Baird, Jack Packshaw and Roman Summers. Essentially, we are a platform for all emerging artists, looking to create a foothold in the art industry.
What has been the most rewarding experience throughout the journey?
Personally, it was standing next to the Deputy Director of my University as she opened the gallery with her speech – I looked at the crowd and realised that we had done it - all the ideas, all the late and sleepless nights and all the hours working 3 jobs to fund the idea had all been worth it.
What has been the biggest learning curve?
Melissa and Aish would hope I have learnt not to call them after 10pm for brainstorming sessions because they don’t answer. But the real life lesson is that hard work does pay off, years of attending exhibitions and introducing myself to industry professionals pays off - on Thursday night they all came in their numbers to get behind Lmtdspace and support the creative culture, which was just so humbling.
How have you managed your time between finishing university and opening the gallery?
Two diaries and three books, deadlines and an amazing team. Honestly, meeting the deadline lines isn’t really my doing - it was more the girls. I think the girls would also say it’s definitely a balancing act, and we have to make sure we are super organised. I’m so lucky that our team work together so well – communication is such a strong part of our team, allowing us to ensure everyone is able to manage all of their commitments. Without sounding too cheesy I think passion also comes into it, we’re all so blessed to really love our degrees and our roles at Lmtdspace – it ensures a certain level of motivation.
I understand at the moment the gallery will be open for three months, are you looking at extending the lease?
Oh my god, hell yes! We would love to keep the gallery open! Whether that means going into partnership with other business people, or another avenue, we want to ensure the vision, dream and pathway for emerging artists to exhibit is kept alive, and we will fight, tooth and nail, to keep the space going.
What are your top three tips for young entrepreneurs?
When managing a team you need to ensure you have faith in your team. Letting your team grow into their position is important - ensuring they learn to grow, develop and blossom so that the work is dispersed.
I also believe in a balanced lifestyle you need down time. I like travelling or just jumping on a plane to Melbourne or Sydney to catch up with friends a couple of times a year to just relax. Otherwise you can get tricked into thinking you have to work every day and slowly burn out and lose that passion.
Finally, networking at exhibitions and conferences, is my biggest tip. For example, if I didn’t go to that exhibition a few months ago I wouldn’t have met Virginia. Your next business partner, that mural or even that next exhibition could be just around the corner; print up business cards, walk around the room, engage with others, break out of your cycle and the world will be your oyster.