The Devonport Regional Gallery evolved from the inception of The Little Gallery, which was founded by Jean Thomas as a private enterprise in 1966.
Jean Thomas' vision for the Gallery was as a centre for community arts and activities. Her aim was to promote Tasmanian artists and to provide an impartial program of appreciation with the inclusion of national and international exhibitions. She developed a complimentary project in the display and sale of fine wool, and woven and knitted products made by local craftswomen which not only helped support the gallery financially, but also promoted the recognition of one of Tasmania's primary industries. The Little Gallery was situated in a weatherboard building behind the Baptist Church in Stewart Street, which is now home to the Devonport Regional Gallery.
The Baptist Church was built in 1904 and was designed and constructed by Stephen Priest Senior and Stephen Priest Junior. In 1969 when the church moved to other premises, the building incorporated the Devonport Library until 1983, when it became the designated site for the Devonport Gallery and Arts Centre. In 2004 the Gallery underwent refurbishment including new gallery walls and floor. Planned future improvements include a major building extension which will provide the safe housing and display of the Gallery's Permanent Collection.
The Gallery presents an annual program of exhibitions, education and public programs including events and workshops. In keeping with Jean Thomas' vision, the Gallery collects and promotes Tasmanian art, craft and design and runs an Emerging artist program to support local and state-wide artists. The program showcases emerging artist's work in The Little Gallery, which is an annex to the Main Gallery.
The Gallery is supported by the Devonport City Council, Arts Tasmania, Special Committee, Friends of the Gallery and the Gallery's young member's committee The DROOGS. Other funding is received through the Australian Governments Deductible Gift Recipient Status.
Devonport Regional Gallery is a proud smart map tasmania participant. To continue your arts journey across our creative island visit www.smartmaptas.com.au