HUDSON’S HUB gallery is closing its doors, but its owner says there is still a big future for boutique art galleries in Bendigo.
The Mitchell Street art gallery and specialist arts supply store has announced it won’t be operating after this weekend.
Owner Cristean Tilkeridis said that after two years in Bendigo, he had made the decision not to renew the lease.
“It’s not necessarily the end, it’s a break for now,” he said.
“We were weighing up where we stood and it was more of the economic reality and the state of retail at the moment.”
Mr Tilkeridis said he was working two jobs up to 15 hours a day to keep the store afloat.
He said the decision was based on getting some “work-life balance” restored. “The shop has paid for itself, it’s been really well supported,” he said.
“It was always going to be a challenge setting up a niche business. But in terms of how people responded to the gallery it’s been amazing.”
Mr Tilkeridis said the next chapter of Hudson’s Hub could involve something online.
“I’m leaving my options open, whether it’s something in a different format,” he said. “Essentially it’s been what I wanted to achieve, we were able to engage local artists and expose people to different forms of art.
“Bendigo still has a lot to offer in terms of boutique shops.”
Bendigo Traders Association president Ross White said the reality for the retail industry was that smaller boutique stores were feeling the squeeze.