INVERELL ART GALLERY'S PASSIONATE PURSUITS

Regular exhibitions, travelling solo artists, workshops in all manner of disciplines and social groups perfecting their craft, you’ll find creativity in action every day of the week at Inverell Art Gallery.


Photography by: Pip Williams, The Real Deal Photography

There’s a path that travels past the entrance to Inverell’s Art Gallery. It might be made of broken floor tiles and crushed ceramics, and yet it’s anything but decrepit.


This beautiful mosaic path, known as the Meandering Macintyre, was created by the Inverell Art Society in 2011 and represents the flow of the Macintyre River that runs through Inverell. The carefully curated collection of ceramic pieces reveal images of the region’s flora and fauna, masterpieces beneath our feet thanks to a number of local and Indigenous artists. Ultimately, the path offers passersby a divine first glimpse at the artistic creativity that goes on behind the gallery’s walls – creativity that’s been practised in the same space since 1906.


It was in that year the School of Arts first opened its doors to the Inverell community. The imposing two-story building was referred to as “an ornament to the town” by The Inverell Times, and it undoubtedly was. By 1909 the Butler Hall was opened on the adjoining land and was used as a gallery with removable stage to allow for amateur theatricals as well as meetings, smoke-o’s and dinners. During the 50s and 60s, the space was also used as a supper room when balls were held in the town hall.


Following a short stint with the Department ofTechnical Education for Secretarial Studies, in the early 70s the Inverell Art Society was granted use of the Butler Hall and Inverell’s Art and Craft Gallery was opened to the public. By the mid-90s, the two buildings were linked together and the expanded Art Gallery was officially opened on 14 December 1995.


The rest, as they say, is history.



ANNUAL EXHIBITIONS

Today, the Inverell Art Gallery is run by the Inverell Art Society Inc, a board of committee members that consists of people from all walks of life and who are involved in the everyday operations. The Gallery also relies on volunteers who give many hours to ensure all events, exhibitions and workshops run smoothly.


Jane Peterkin, the Gallery’s Manager, says “It has been the tireless efforts of all the past Inverell community members and volunteers of the Gallery that has seen it grow to what it is today. The community and the love of art, craft, people and building is at its heart”.


Thanks to that community passion, each year the Inverell Art Gallery has a number of competitive exhibitions. The two major competitive exhibitions are The Inverell Photography Prize held in March, and the Inverell Art Prize held in September / October.


The Contemporary Exhibition, curated by the President Christina Smith with the assistance of the Manager and other committee members, is also held annually and will take place this year on 15 May. The exhibition celebrates a collection of established and up-and-coming contemporary artists.


The Gallery is also thrilled to provide a space for solo artists and traveling exhibitions throughout the year.


CREATIVE WORKSHOPS TO ENTICE

Workshops and social groups are also held regularly within the art and pottery studios of the Gallery. Pottery, painting and pastel classes take place weekly, while speciality workshops of Stained Glass, Art Night Out (Sip and Paint), Pottery and Art feature throughout the year.


The space also hosts social groups of art, embroidery and needlework, felting and spinning, who gather in the Gallery each week to work on their own projects.


Many classes in fine art and creative crafts continue in the two classrooms adjoining the gallery today, too. It is indeed a school of arts again. Two tired old buildings are now married and form the beautiful Gallery, providing educational and recreational pursuits in the town of Inverell for the benefit and entertainment of many creative people throughout the region – a divine ornament, standing tall alongside the ceramic Meandering Macintyre.


If you’d like to get involved, you can contact the Gallery’s tutors directly on the Inverell Art Gallery website or by contacting the Gallery. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram, so you don’t miss out on the many exciting events, exhibitions and workshops planned for the year ahead!


Website: inverellartgallery.com.au – Phone: (02) 6722 4983

Facebook: @inverellart – Instagram: @inverellartgallery


{words: Steph Wanlessphotography: Pip Williams, The Real Deal Photography}