Rush to find new coastal art gallery space
EMU Park may see a new art gallery in coming years.
The gallery at 42 Pattison St has been placed on the market for $350,000 and, if sold, the volunteer committee would need to find a new home.
Livingstone Shire Council has engaged a land management plan with the idea of building a new gallery in a block near Bell Park.
The proposed area is a space of 10ha, with frontage of the roundabout and in front of the CWA hall.
It is a vacant block currently used as a dirt car park and is not in the green zone, so would not have any environmental impacts.
The space was once slated for the fire brigade before it was decided they were better off out of town. Prior to that, the block was a railway station.
Council is seeking approval from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy for the issue of a trustee lease for the operation of the gallery.
Council's Land Management Plan states the gallery would serve as a location for artists to display their works, workshops and venue for exhibitions.
Any proceeds from these fees are said to be invested back into the gallery and for the acquisition of works for council's art collection.
The new art gallery however would still run as a volunteer organisation and not by council.
It has been noted the design of the art gallery would be complementary to Emu Park's "relaxed coastal village atmosphere”.
Emu Park Art Gallery Workshop Coordinator and Public Relations Officer Barb Tamassy said they have been more than overwhelmed with positive support from council in finding a new space for them.
She said the lot on the corner of the Scenic Hwy and Hill St has "wonderful frontage”.
The committee would like moveable walls inside their new facility to create intimate art spaces.
"It's an ideal location.We could have a little cafe on the corner, a gallery and workshop space,” Barb said.
They did look at the block between the Town Hall and the CWA Hall and also extending the Town Hall, but it did not suit.
The group hopes to base the new gallery on a similar model to the art gallery at the Banana Shire Council chambers in Biloela.
But there is concern the current building may sell before a new one is completed.
Barb explained the art gallery is an integral part of the Emu Park community.
The non-for-profit organisation has 25 local artists involved.
"It's a very social group, we have a lot of volunteers that work there and we have a really good following,” she said.
For now they will continue to work with Livingstone Shire Council and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga to what their next step is and looking at a design plan.
"We don't have a plan, we are just hoping things will work out for us... an exhibition space is really difficult and the cost of renting. We are not for profit organisation, we don't have a large income and what we do have just runs the gallery,” Barb said.
Comment and submissions on the Land Management Plan are to be provided to Council by 5pm May 7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.