New building to help National Gallery diversify income

In the sixth in a series of articles that follow the development of the new National Gallery and Education Centre, we take a look the PwC Pavilion, the Art Café and NGCI Shop. 

After months of construction, the National Gallery capital project is nearing its final phase, and as they prepare for their pending move, staff have been hard at work developing an infrastructure that will support the increased costs of the new facility.  

Following a growing trend in the museum world, the team has been looking at a number of revenue-generating initiatives that will help the organisation offset their traditional reliance on fund raising.

These include diversifying income across a broad spectrum of areas including a range of new trading activities such as venue hire, catering, licensing of products, and retailing.

With 9,000 square feet of covered space and three acres of garden there are now many opportunities for generating revenue long-term. 

While these won’t all be implemented by the time the National Gallery opens its doors in February 2012, two critical areas will be up and running – the NGCI Shop and the Art Café with its accompanying seating area in the PwC Pavilion.  

The shop will house a vibrant collection of art-inspired merchandise, books on modern art and culture, and work by local artisans, along with unique products inspired by the National Art Collection.  

“We are hoping to create a boutique-style store that promotes local arts and crafts along with educational, art-inspired products,” said National Gallery Communications Manager Mona Lisa Tatum.

“Visitors will be able to view the temporary exhibition area or visit the Permanent Collection Gallery and then find related items and materials to take home as a memento of their visit, as well as browsing the exclusive hand-made items.  

“Eventually we’d like to be a “go-to” place for unique local art-inspired products,” Tatum says. 

Situated inside the Education Centre building, the cosy Art Café, will provide a relaxed atmosphere for morning coffee, a light lunch, after-school refreshments, or a simply stopping point for a well-earned rest during a Gallery visit. In the evenings it will double as a catering area for special events.  

“The plan is to start with a small menu of coffees, cakes, fruit and other snacks, as well as cold drinks, and to expand over time to fit the demand,” says Tatum.  

Seating for the café will be outdoors under the PwC Pavilion. Set on a raised area several feet above the surrounding landscape, visitors will be able to sip their coffee while enjoying uninterrupted views of the outdoor sculpture area and the series of gardens designed by Sandy Urquhart.

At times this area is expected to be a hive of activity, especially during school visits, while in quieter moments it will be the perfect place to relax and contemplate. In the future, the team also hopes to see this area used as a bandstand for events like Jazz picnics in the park and small performances. 

The National Gallery project partners PwC, are excited about the multiple opportunities that the new building will generate. 

“Having one unified home for the numerous exhibits and educational programmes that the National Gallery hosts will provide a whole new dimension to the arts in the Cayman Islands,” says Frazer Lindsay, PwC, territory senior partner.

“PwC looks forward to the many cultural benefits that our community will see as a result of the new building, and we are honoured to be a part of the National Gallery’s new home.” 

National Story

From left, National Gallery Cayman Islands Director Natalie Urquhart along with PwC’s Angilynn Chan, Craig Smith, Damian Pentney and Sean Parchment.