For all the new artist spaces and the influx over the years of more dealer galleries, café art exhibitions never died. In Wellington in particular they have a long history from the French Maid Café in the 1950s. One classic café show we have fond memories of was Monsters from the id, a 1988 exhibition (probably named after Doc Ostrow's famous line in the 50s movie Forbidden Planet) and curated by Robert Leonard in Wellington’s City Limits. et al. was in it, so too was Terrence Handscomb with a wall work (a mural that confused the hell out of the café’s owners) and Derek Cowie. He made a screen of painted plastic discs with his signature camera imagery on them and if you happened to look across the street, there was another pinned to the top of the bus shelter.
Today with the constant flow of art students being graduated in the region there is no shortage of stuff to hang on walls. We saw these Gimblett-like paintings at the Deluxe a few weeks ago where the shows change faster than you can visit. In the end the question of the day’s gotta be - when’s the first dealer gallery going to install a coffee bar?
REG COMMENTS: Photospace in Courtenay Place advertises coffee. And James Gilberd does make a baristacally good brew.