Updated: June 15, 2022 07:54
Artists on display at the new Habitat Gallery from left, Sheilagh Head, Andy Detzer and Diana Amos. Absent from the photo is Shaunagh Butler (Photograph provided)
Hamilton’s newest art gallery is located in a thrift store, but there’s nothing else in the artwork.
Habitat for Humanity Bermuda officially launched the gallery earlier this month, two years after Restore opened in the former Blucks building.
“When Blucks operated as a high-end china shop, Sheilagh Head had an upstairs gallery,” said Habitat President Sheelagh Cooper.
“She came to see me recently to remind me of those days. We decided to resuscitate the gallery part of the building. It brought others. Since there are not many galleries left in Bermuda and there is no room for these artists to show their work, we have opened the door to three more artists.
Habitat Gallery officially opened earlier this month and features the work of local artists Sheilagh Head, Shaunagh Butler, Andy Detzer and Diana Amos. Their art sells for between a few hundred dollars and several thousand dollars.
Ms Cooper actually started hanging her art on the walls as early as January, in a casual fashion.
As soon as construction began, she noticed an increase in foot traffic in Restore.
“People are drawn to the store when they see the art,” Ms. Cooper said. “It helps us sell our second-hand household furniture. So it’s a very nice mix. Art complements furniture and vice versa.
They have also seen interest from visitors alighting from cruise ships.
Habitat for Humanity Bermuda takes a 30% commission on artwork sold at Habitat Gallery. All proceeds go to their projects, like their new Transformational Living Center in Pembroke for families in need.
“All proceeds from the thrift store go to Habitat for Humanity Bermuda,” Ms Cooper said. “And none of our profits go overseas. And Restore has no paid staff. They are all volunteers.”
Mr Detzer said Ms Head approached him to exhibit his work at Restore a few months ago at the 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 me if I would exhibit some of my works at the gallery. I haven’t looked back since. Sheilagh has been a phenomenal salesperson.
His work started selling immediately.
“It took me two days and then I had to restock,” he said.
He was so happy to find this new point of sale.
“One of the challenges is getting people on the island to know about my work,” Mr. Detzer said.
It’s useful because he doesn’t have much time to look for places to sell his work. Balancing his restaurant career with his art can be difficult, and sometimes he has to put his art on hold for a while. He tends to tackle his art late at night and into the wee hours of the morning.