Black Gold Gallery

Chris Zanko is starting to become something of a local institution. He has his fingers in all kinds of pies throughout the community, whilst also creating his own art and featuring in a local band starting to make a name for themselves. Proving himself to be quite the passionate and trustworthy young man when it comes to art, we placed the management of our in-house gallery in his hands...and to explain it we decided to conduct a brief interview with him about it. We realise how incestuous this sounds, but we're running with it anyway...

Black Gold: So, it would appear we’ve handed some of the reigns in running the gallery in our studio over to you. How do you feel about this?

Chris Zanko: It's awesome, I feel very thankful to be given a serious role with the gallery space. It is something I have had an interest in for a while and it's great that the opportunity is right here in Thirroul.

You are an artist in your own right, what drives you to create?

Yeah, I suppose what drives me are the people around me, whether it be artists, musicians, or just people going about their day-to-day business. It makes me feel good.

Before taking on aspects of the management of the gallery your first solo show was held here, how did it feel to complete that exhibition, see it on the wall and then start to see the red dots appear?

It was pretty stressful for a while. I was worried about how my works would be received by an audience, but also how people would react to the Black Gold space. I was stoked and relieved with how the opening night went, the red dots were a bonus too!

You’re becoming quite a well-known face around the Coal Coast, what are your thoughts on this area in it’s current stage of existence?

Haha zzzz, my thoughts are general: This area seems to be going through a shift at the moment, there is a lot of money moving into the Coal Coast, which is obviously great for businesses in the local area and allows culturally rich ventures such as Black Gold to exist. I just hope I can afford to stay around here when I am older!

What are your hopes for the gallery?

I hope the gallery becomes a bridge for people in the local area and beyond to view and interact with art.

If you could have anyone in the world exhibit here, who would you pick?

That is a really hard question. I think it would be really cool if an artist that I really admire, such as Niel Smits van Burgst, came and lived in the local area for a few months and created a series of works reflecting his time spent here.

What do we have to look forward to on the walls in the coming months?

Got heaps coming up ay, some pretty epic stuff from Aaron Fell-Fracasso is going up mid May, followed by a photography show by Frenchy. We're still juggling dates for later shows, but you can expect to see a diverse collection of exhibitions by some very talented people.