Artists reject city’s J Shed licence

The J Shed is being included in the City’s plans for an Arts Hub.
The J Shed is being included in the City’s plans for an Arts Hub.

The process leading up to the new licence has taken more than two years, with the city wanting to include the J Shed in their Arts Hub plans for Arthur Head.

Photographer Peter Zuvela said the tenants were upset because ‘it is essentially a bad ‘artist in residence’ contract’ that would not apply to what the artists had established and which would not work for an arts business.

He said the artists had discussed the agreement on Thursday night and decided to reject it.

‘I believe the licence is impossible to accept because it does not provide us any protection as a small business,’ he said.

‘We would be better off taking our business elsewhere.’

Also thinking of a move is sculptor Greg James, who said the agreement was so difficult to accept that he was thinking about taking his business out of Fremantle.

Some aspects of the agreement that the artists are unhappy about include the provision to share their space if the city deems it appropriate, the requirement to pay their annual fees up front and the need to give the public access to their studios for five hours a day.

City of Fremantle Community Development director Marisa Spaziani said the agreements were being reviewed as drafts.

‘As the licences are currently under negotiation, it is not appropriate for the city to discuss the specifics,’ she said.

‘The city believes these licences to be fair and equitable to all artists interested in utilising spaces at Arthur Head as well as being in the community’s best interest.’