The Why Not Gallery was founded in 2017 by two friends, artist Gvantsa Jishkariani and curator Ellen Kapanadze with an intention to support young Georgian artists. The not-for-profit organisation aspires to introduce cutting edge artists to wider audiences, support their creative endeavours, as well as stimulate the local arts scene by showcasing exciting international artists.
Conceived as an experiment, the project welcomes and encourages all sorts of experimentations and trials. The team is dedicated to presenting a body of work that is in touch with contemporary aesthetic, has a strong message to convey and muses on relevant discourses.
The first edition of The Why Not Gallery occupied a vitrine in the Tbilisi city centre underground passageway, under a busy square, famous for its squatted flower market and small repair apprenticeships. The passageway, filled with shops selling fake brands, cheap plastic goods, religious accessories, as well as vegetables and fruit stands, was the most unexpected place to come across an art exposition. However, very appropriate for a busy city, where museums feel like mausoleums and the general public has little interest in contemporary art. It was an attempt to strip art of its elitist connotations and let it enter into the most banal scenarios of the everyday life.
In the second year of the gallery operation, it switched to being a nomadic gallery, with an intention to stress out the importance of partnerships and supporting one another. In this format, the gallery held three exhibitions and moved on to opening its first permanent space in the central part of Tbilisi.
In 2019, the gallery launched The Why Not Gallery Gift Shop, where it partners with different Georgian artists and in collaboration with them produces limited edition objects, mainly home decor products. The project aims to introduce young artists to wider audiences, create additional source of income for them, as well as fund the gallery exhibitions program.