Steve Finney (left), with AGWA’s Colin Walker and musician Fraeya Evans (centre), who will perform during the ‘That Seventies Feeling … The Late Modern’ exhibition. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Otherside, AGWA partner after hours

Otherside Brewing is cementing its position as a supporter of Western Australian artists by collaborating with the Art Gallery of WA to bring beer, music and art to the gallery after hours this month.

Myaree-based Otherside, owned by Triple-1-Three brewing and hospitality group, and the gallery are presenting AGWA Live, every Friday for the remainder of February.

AGWA Live offers the chance to drink Otherside beer, view the gallery’s exhibitions, and listen to a selection of WA artists, including singer-songwriter Carla Geneve and hip-hop artist Hyclass.

The partnership adds to the brewer’s long list of projects to engage local artists through its Tapped by Otherside program, funded via the sale of its beer.

The fund provides grants for creatives to help further their careers and runs quarterly competitions for visual artists to feature on Otherside’s creative release beer.

The first AGWA Live event coincided with the launch of the third creative release, Distortion Peach Sour, featuring artwork by Tom Cleave.

Otherside general manager Steve Finney said the company was strongly focused on its brand, and on promoting music and art, and had spent more than $100,000 supporting the creative industries.

He said the brewer had been working with the art gallery for the past 12 months as part of a three-year partnership.

“I think as the main art gallery for WA, it’s something we believe in and we want to help local artists and introduce them to what is known as the best gallery in WA,” Mr Finney told Business News.

Busselton-born musician Fraeya Evans, who will play at AGWA Live later this month, said Otherside, AGWA and the performers would all bring something different.

“We might be able to play for people we haven’t played to before and appeal to a different target audience because of what the art gallery represents,” Ms Evans said.

“Same with Otherside; they have their own brand and their own people and their own organisation, so bringing that all together you just kind of have all these different sides of opportunity and audiences to witness your music.”

AGWA acting chief executive Colin Walker said Otherside’s commitment to the arts had made for an alignment of values.

“For us, we want to create an environment that’s really supportive of artists, really supportive of our business partners, and through that we want to use the art to create fabulous experiences,” Mr Walker told Business News.

“It’s part of what we are trying to do with the gallery, which is to open ourselves a bit more, bleed more into the cultural centre, make use of people who move past and get them involved.”

The gallery hasn’t opened after hours for a while, Mr Walker said, but he was planning to make it a more regular occurrence.

Visitor numbers to the gallery fell from 375,698 in 2017-18 to 272,236 in 2018-2019, however, Mr Walker said he was not concerned.

“There are some experiences where there are limited numbers [of people] who can come in, so it skews your audience figures by the fact you’ve got a really intimate VR experience that blows your mind and only so many people can go through, versus a massive blockbuster where people have to pay,” he said.

“Like any organisation, you want to appeal broadly, to get people engaged, get them coming back and a lot of activity we’ve got coming up is going to enable us to do that.”

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