An eye for art, a love of retail and a background in picture framing gave Scott Dargaville the perfect credentials to take over the ownership of the Remuera Gallery.
How long has Remuera Gallery been established?
It’s been a landmark in Auckland for over 30 years now. It was originally the Dunham Gallery, before being bought by Murray Gow and renamed as the John Leech Gallery in 1980, then I took over in 2005.
What is your background?
I had a picture framing business called Scott’s Framing in Upland Road for 15 years, and prior to that I had a gallery in Sydney for a couple of years.
How did you originally get into this business?
In my younger years I worked for an Italian guy framing and selling art. I’d love to say it was a career move, but it was more a means to an end … I needed a job! It wasn’t until my aunt left me some paintings in her will, and I sold them, that I got a ‘taste’ for it.
You also have another gallery in Cambridge. How does that compare to having a business in Auckland?
Since opening in Cambridge (in 2013) we’ve discovered that it’s a much slower pace of life down there – we see a smaller dollar spend, but far more foot traffic. I come up to Auckland when I need a bit of spice in my life!
You have an unusual surname - do you have any connection to Dargaville the town?
Yes, and it’s probably my biggest claim to fame! My great, great-grandfather was the original settler there, and the town was named after him.
How about here in Remuera – do you have any connections?
My family has lived here for about 90 years. So I grew up here, went to school here and have been the chairman of the Remuera Business Association for four years now. It was only natural to start my business here too.
Are you very creative yourself?
Put it this way – I leave the painting to the artists. I have an eye for, and an appreciation of, art but that’s as far as my creative skills extend.
What’s the most unusual, or rare, piece of artwork you’ve sold?
We’ve bought and sold a couple of Goldies, and we come across treasures all the time.
What’s been your favourite exhibition, and why?
Ron Stenberg. For the last 10 years we’ve held an exhibition on his birthday … he is in his 96th year and still painting!
Does your own home reflect that you own an art gallery?
We have around 100 (and counting!) paintings, and probably have 50 hanging at any one time. I rotate them frequently but can’t sell any as the kids notice straight away when one has been moved.
Do your kids show any interest in joining the family business?
My daughter Charlotte is very artistic, and is already involved in the business behind the scenes, looking after our website. So although I can’t tell them what to do, I’m still hopeful the gallery will continue on in the family.
What do you like most about having your business here in Remuera?
It has to be the village atmosphere. And all the people are so friendly!
You have a ‘Stock Sale’ coming up in January. How does that work?
Our showroom upstairs is where we keep all the exhibition art that hasn’t sold. Every January we bring it downstairs and it’s reduced by 30-40%.
Remuera Gallery, 360 Remuera Road
Ph: 09 524 7403 www.remuera-gallery.com
Photography by Vanita Andrews and words by Fiona Wilson