Crowdfunding success for Hoxton's PEER gallery
PEER gallery in Hoxton now has a brand new façade. It’s all thanks to a Spacehive crowdfunding campaign, which included a pledge from the Mayor last year. PEER’s General Manager explains more.
We’ve been based here on Hoxton High Street since 2002. In that time, we’ve commissioned and presented over 100 exhibitions, publications, events and public space projects. Our core ethos is to reach the broadest audiences we can by offering high quality art as part of daily life. We’ve done this by working with many acclaimed artists like Martin Creed, Bob & Roberta Smith and Fiona Banner to name but a few. We provide a range of activities for local schools. We also work closely with the Tenant Management Organisation at the housing estate next-door.
We saw an opportunity for the art we show in the gallery to have more of an impact on the street. By replacing our old frontage with floor to ceiling windows, we’d give passers-by the chance to look in. We soon realised we could get rid of our old metal shutters and keep the exhibitions on show to the street at all hours. This would also help to light the area and make it safer.
After much hard work, we celebrated spring’s arrival this year with a beautifully renovated gallery. The first exhibition in the new space is by Turner prize shortlisted artist Angela de la Cruz. We launched a new civic clock too with designs by artist Chris Ofili who has a longstanding connection to Hoxton. In the new green space we have a 10-metre long sculpture by London Fieldworks. It’s made up of 212 bird and insect boxes modelled on social housing in the area. You can find out more about the artists involved on PEER’s website.
To fund the works on our facade, we ran a Spacehive campaign in Round 2 of the Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding pilot. It meant we could gather financial contributions from local people as well as a wider circle of gallery regulars. These were topped up by a pledge from the Mayor of £19k. We raised £25,000 from our 187 online backers.
This really galvanised support for our gallery in the local community. It helped us to connect with them so they now feel a big part of our reopening! We’d recommend it to anybody who wants to raise funds for a small-scale local urban regeneration project.
We’re accepting ideas for round 3 of the Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding Initiative on Spacehive until 2 May. The Mayor will pledge up to £20k to the best crowdfunding campaigns.