Always a mix, the mostly mid-career to established artists of Harcourt House displayed their work salon style for their annual 'show and sale' members exhibition during this past solstice and front lawn bbq, which was excellent with good deals and thick slabs of sliced cheese.
Inside and upstairs, staggered over each other throughout all four rooms, what finally became crystal clear was the role of Harcourt House's place in the community. Perhaps jumbled with the wholesome bbq crowd downstairs, the handful of respected names on the wall upstairs, and the bartender crustily accusing a group of ladies downstairs as the "Latitude crowd" (I'm sure no offense was meant towards the ladies or Latitude 53, but the impression nevertheless lasted), never had it become so obvous that Harcourt House was of course the artist-run centre that leans towards the more traditional and established side, holding an impressive rolodex of artists as members as well as a site for continuing arts education.
The role and voice for each artist run centre and gallery often gets confused, or forgotten, as the artists represented and gallery itself goes through a cycle. Harcourt's current mandate declares itself to be a destination for contemporary visual art, which in theory clumps it along every other gallery in the city, but with this presentation of its members show, Harcourt reveals it is perhaps the premiere destination for local contemporary visual art.