Lockyer Valley artist Pip Pip Van Gilst is excited about the new hub. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
Lockyer Valley artist Pip Pip Van Gilst is excited about the new hub. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

Artists to transform major vacant Gatton CBD building

A LOCKYER art group will create a new masterpiece in the former Crazy Clark’s building, which has been sitting vacant in Gatton’s main street for six years.

The Lockyer Creative Collective has struck a deal with the building’s owners to establish a space for artists, without having to pay rent.

The group has been working from the old school building at the Gatton Historical Society, but the new space will allow workshops to be held, and boost community engagement.

The creative hub will be called the Valley Vibe Arts Centre.

Organisers say the arts centre will include a gallery, business incubator, space for workshops and a comfy drop-in centre across the 800sq m space.

Group president Maree Rosier said the project had been a long time coming.

Lockyer Creative Collective’s Maree Rosier (president) Pip Van Gilst (secretary) Gillian Gehrke (marketing officer) and artist Elizabeth Browne. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
Lockyer Creative Collective’s Maree Rosier (president) Pip Van Gilst (secretary) Gillian Gehrke (marketing officer) and artist Elizabeth Browne. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

The Lockyer Creative Collective formed in October last year, and moved into the historical village earlier this year.

But Mrs Rosier said it was wonderful to “revitalise” the main street.

“Although we established at the historical centre, I always said we needed to be in the main street,” she said.

The building, which was home to Crazy Clark’s, has been empty since August 2014, when the discount store chain went into receivership.

It was used briefly by Lockyer MP Jim McDonald, and the electoral commission for local elections.

The Lockyer Creative Collective will use the space rent-free, but should a business sign a lease, they will have a month to move out.

The former Crazy Clark's store, next to the Reject Shop in Gatton.
The former Crazy Clark's store, next to the Reject Shop in Gatton.

Secretary Pip van Gilst said the group was open to creatives of any form of art.

“It becomes a place where people come together and socialise and enjoy the arts,” Mrs van Gilst said.

Gillian Gehrke, the group’s marketing officer, said the new space would be a huge boost for the community, especially while people were feeling the strain of coronavirus restrictions.

“There’s a lot of programs that are buddying up over regional Queensland, and it’s doing wonders for communities,” Mrs Gehrke said.

The Lockyer Creative Collective is looking for assistance with floor coverings and second-hand furniture to deck out the new centre.

Contact the group by emailing lockyercreative@gmail.com.

Follow Gatton Star editor Ali Kuchel on Facebook here


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