The dogs of the Bundaberg Region are about to become more cultured, with the FOUND! Studio Dog Exhibition & Art Trail receiving a Regional Arts Development Fund grant.
The new exhibition and art trail is a free community project set to be held across Bundaberg and beyond in October 2020.
Local artist Adrienne Williams came up with the idea of following on from successful exhibitions around Australia.
“Both the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery have held Dog exhibitions in the last 10 years so why not Bundaberg with a local focus?” Adrienne said.
Each Sunday across October people will be encouraged to take their dogs walking on the Bundaberg Art Trail.
There’ll be art play activities and puppy parking stations to encourage a fun and free outing for families and their animals.
But as well as being fun, Adrienne said the project will highlight important issues in our community.
“The FOUND! Studio Dog project will allow us to talk about being an artist, the solitary nature of our art practice, and how our studio companions make it a much less lonely endeavour,” Adrienne said.
“Yes, we all talk to our dogs in the studio (or cats, birds and guinea pigs as the case may be!)”.
Adrienne said it’s not just artists who will benefit.
“I’ve already been talking with organisations such as Headspace Bundaberg so the project could also explore the importance of animals in our mental health and the growing role of support dogs in our community.
“This project opens in Queensland Mental Health week in 2020 and allows us to extend the conversation around all kinds of health and wellbeing in our community.”
The School of Arts gallery space in Bourbong Street will be the central venue and it is hoped that shops and businesses will get involved, hanging artwork in an accessible place and becoming part of the art trail.
Adrienne will also be contacting art and craft groups and galleries in our region and beyond to see if they’d like to run a concurrent project and be part of a regional art trail, offering lots of ways that all parts of the art community can be involved.
The FOUND! Studio Dog project will be also be a chance for local artists to exhibit with well-known artists from further afield.
“As well as inviting high profile artists from other parts of Australia to exhibit alongside selected professional artists from our region here at the School of Arts gallery, our local artists will have the chance to exhibit in Brisbane.
“Two gallery spaces in Brisbane—The Side Gallery and Red Hill Gallery—have agreed to be satellite venues where a small number of our artists may get to have a short exhibition showcase in the city.
“I’m so excited about this and so grateful to the two Galleries for their interest.”
Receiving a RADF grant is a major coup for the project and Adrienne is very grateful for the help she has received.
“I would like to acknowledge my Regional Arts Services Network mentor, Julie Barratt, who helped me through the grant writing process.”
The next step will be to involve the community.
“I have a long wish list of people I’d like to work with including the Bundaberg Regional Council Zoo animal handlers, the local vets, Red Collar Rescue, Bundaberg Regional Library, Bundaberg Regional Gallery and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, and anyone who’ll open their door for a conversation about what’s possible to make it a great event,” Adrienne said.
The FOUND! Studio Dog | Exhibition & Art Trail project has been supported by the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).