Janja Heathfield and Lloyd Harwood from The Refinery ArtSpace outside their new home on Hardy St. Photo: Kate Russell.

Refinery finds home on Hardy

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What was previously a shop full of bikes has now been transformed into a central hub for Nelson’s art community.

The Refinery ArtSpace has taken up residence in the building at 114 Hardy St for the next two years, after being vacated from their earthquake-prone Halifax St site in March.

“We’re excited to be at this end of town,” says manager Janja Heathfield.

“It’s taken a very large team and a lot of volunteer hours.”

She says it was a “pretty tricky task” to find a site that could replicate what they had on Halifax St, and while they have lost five artist studios, they have gained more gallery space and a flexible workshop/rehearsal space.

“We also have two office spaces that we’ll be sharing with other art organisations. It’s a very versatile building.”

Janja says earthquake strengthening at their old site is not anticipated to happen until the second half of next year, and they are thankful to Nelson City Council for helping them fund the new building.

“There has also been a lot of community spirit from local businesses.”

The space was officially opened on Monday night, with the first two exhibitions already in full swing. ‘Island Light’ by ceramicist Sue Scobie and ‘Shodo – The Way of the Brush’ by Yu Yu Japanese Calligraphy School – both run throughout August.