From inception of The Little Gallery
The Devonport Regional Gallery is a vibrant, contemporary art space, housed in the paranaple arts centre, in the heart of Devonport city. It is owned and operated by the Devonport City Council and supported by the Tasmanian Government.
The Gallery offers an annual program of exhibitions, events and workshops in three separate exhibition spaces. It also houses the Creative Space workshop area. The Devonport Regional Gallery collects and promotes Tasmanian contemporary art, craft and design, and manages the impressive Robinson Collection of photographic negatives.
The Main Gallery presents touring exhibitions, while the Little and Upper Galleries feature works from the Devonport City Permanent Collection of Art and works by emerging and early career Tasmanian Artists.
The Devonport Regional Gallery evolved from the inception of The Little Gallery, which was founded by Jean Thomas as a private enterprise in 1966.
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 change 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.
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 and in 2012 a purpose-built facility was completed to provide the safe housing and display of the Gallery’s Permanent Collection.
In October 2018 the Gallery moved into new premises and is now part of the paranaple arts centre in Rooke Street.
The Gallery is supported by the Friends of the Gallery and a young member’s committee The DROOGS.