Lockyer artists push for community art centre

UNITED: The Lockyer art community held a meeting to ask council's support to open a   a community art space for the region.
UNITED: The Lockyer art community held a meeting to ask council's support to open a a community art space for the region. Francis Witsenhuysen

MORE than 25 prominent artists from numerous Lockyer art groups have united to highlight the "desperate need” for a community art space.

Gatton artist and art teacher Elizabeth Browne chaired the meeting at her Tara Rose Art Studio and was delighted when Lockyer Valley Regional Council Community Development and Engagement Officer Neil Williamson attended to hear them out.

The main focus of the meeting was to show the need to progress all platforms of art in the region and put the spotlight on community art.

"Our aim is to get an art space where artists can meet and man a gallery,” Ms Browne said.

"We need somewhere to display our collective works and where people can work, share skills and to give opportunity to budding artists and people with disabilities as well.

"We are asking Council for a space, like a vacant shop or a church, because as a community we can't afford to do it ourselves.”

Artist Sue Dryden, who plays a key role within the region's art movement, said the various art groups all wanted the same thing.

"We are an inclusive art community across the valley and we need one community arts centre for the Lockyer - then arts events like an art trail will grow from that,” she said.

"We don't want one-off projects in separate areas. "There's been talk of it for years but we need to get the ball rolling for a decent art precinct in the valley.”

Ms Dryden said they hoped to form a committee in the near future to speed things up.

"Collectively, creative workers are 30% of our workplace and that's rising - we need somewhere for us to support that,” Ms Dryden said.

"It would mean everything to us, we could share all things art and it would boost tourism.”

Mr Williamson said the LVRC also wanted to raise the profile of arts in the valley.

"Today was about having a chat and working out how we work together towards that solution that they need,” he said.

"I am happy to work with them in terms of getting a proposal together.

"We have been looking at facilities and Council is keen to work with the arts community to find a space that is viable, accessible and ticks the boxes.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the arts space project can email Sue Dryden on

Topics:  gatton lockyer valley lvrc

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