19 February 2024

Callout to southern region artists - it's time for you to show off

| Sally Hopman
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Group of people in front of Gunning Railway Station sign

Committee members and original supporters of Connect@Gunning Graham Dyer, Colleen Worthy, John Stafford, Michelle Storey, Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, Rose Marin, Transport for NSW’s Andrew Killingsworth, Mike Coley and John Searl.

The call-out is on for creative souls living in the Southern Tablelands region of NSW to show off – their best work.

With the recent opening of Connect@Gunning – the former railway station which is now a culture hub – artists and community groups are invited to tell their stories.

Executive Director of Southern Tablelands Arts (STA), Rose Marin, said they were looking for people to stage exhibitions or run workshops at Connect@Gunning.

“This opportunity is open to all artists, at all stages of their career, working in any media and community-based cultural organisations,” she said.

Three dedicated gallery spaces are available – the Main Gallery (the former station’s main waiting room), the Parcels Gallery and the Ladies Gallery, along with the Signal Box Room, a separate heritage weatherboard building, which can be used for workshops and meetings.

Ms Marin said artists of all genres were welcome to apply, as were community groups which might want to exhibit their collection, like a historical society. Artists interested in the same type of work could also apply to exhibit together.

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“We want to cast a wide net,” she said. “We’re interested in people applying with unusual works, perhaps multi-layered exhibitions with various artists.

“We have multiple spaces to offer at Gunning, some of them may be small but we can join them together if needed.”

The first exhibition at Gunning was late last year by photographer Hamish Ta-me, featuring images of people and places of the region. The next exhibition is scheduled for March, Fibre to Garment, which will showcase the arts of spinning, carding and other textile skills as well as an exhibition of local work.

“We have been so heartened by the community response since Connect@Gunning opened,” Ms Marin said.

“We are lucky to have an incredible group of community volunteers who help us run it.

Man with ladder in studio

Hamish Ta-me was the first artist to stage an exhibition at the new Connect@Gunning hub late last year with his photographs of local people and places. Photo: Supplied.

“It is such a wonderful space at Gunning – I love it when it’s full of art and people … it brings the whole place to life.”

Artists and interested community groups are invited to submit expressions of interest to exhibit and/or run workshops for 2024 and 2025.

Some exhibitions will be supported by funding from the Stronger Country Communities Grant, while others may be eligible for financial support for curatorial work and installations. This will allow for eligible exhibitions to run free of charge.

Eligible artists must be members of STA, or eligible for membership and live within the STA region which covers the local government areas of Goulburn Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Yass Valley councils.

Membership forms and more information are available on the website.

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