The work of more than 30 artists, including some from the Bundaberg Region, will be on display when Shelley Pisani's touring Design CQ exhibition opens next week.
The project is the culmination of three years of working with artists from Central Queensland to help build upon their business capacity and develop products.
The exhibition will open at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery on Friday 10 June before touring to the Jubilee Community Centre in Mackay on 16 September and then to Machinery Street Galleries of QCA in Brisbane, opening in late October.
The touring exhibition has been made possible thanks to a partnership with Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery and funding from the Regional Art Development Fund.
Shelley said the exhibition showcased the creativity that was present across the Central Queensland region and would be available for viewing in the Gallery Two space.
“People will get to see something a little bit different,” Shelley said.
“There is everything from silversmithing, to printmaking, to ceramics, to commercially digitally printed products, original paintings and prints, which shows how much diversity there is amongst the 31 artists.
“It is installed as if you are walking into a trade fair.
“We worked with Bundaberg's MAKI Space to develop the exhibition furniture, so it is a very different look and feel to other exhibitions that have been in Gallery Two before.”
While 31 artists are showcased, including some from the Bundaberg Region, more than 500 artists initially took part in the workshops leading up to the exhibition.
“The curation of this exhibition has been in progress over the last couple of years as we worked on the CQ Shopfront Project,” Shelley said.
“This project worked across seven local government areas of Central Queensland, developing the business skills and product development skills of visual artists and makers.”
Workshops provide opportunity for change
Shelley said the CQ Shopfront Project workshops had helped artists to rework some of their processes, giving them the opportunity to create a more commercially-viable product.
“Some makers were already creating commercially-viable products and merchandise, but for others this was an opportunity for them to think differently about their practice,” she said.
“In some cases it means they are now doing small-scale work, which is more price accessible for their customers, and in other cases some have diversified their range to make their products a little bit more commercial.”
Shelley said after the workshops, artists were then encouraged to put in an expression of interest to be involved in the exhibition.
“The works are very diverse,” she said.
“Some have come from as far north as the Whitsundays right down to the Fraser Coast.”
While the products on display in the exhibition are not for sale, visitors can get in contact with the individual artists through the scanning of QR codes.
“There are QR codes that link you directly to the selling sites or the social media accounts of each of the artists, so if you are really keen to purchase something you can get in touch with the artist directly,” Shelley said.
You can find out more about the exhibition here.
The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
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