BALLARAT has long been regarded as a regional hub of art and culture — but one leading force in the arts community says we haven’t seen anything yet.
A SPECIAL open forum will be held next week to discuss the growing community arts and culture agenda in Ballarat in the next 12 months, with details of exhibitions, events and campaigns.
City of Ballarat arts and culture co-ordinator Deborah Klein said the August 22 event at the Art Gallery of Ballarat Annexe would provide an update to artists, their friends, family and the general public.
“We have just completed a draft strategic plan and following on from community consultation over the past year, we have rolled out a calendar which is exciting and reaches areas we have never covered before,” she said.
“It will include things like our public art program, more and more community-based art projects in town, another 12 months of the Backspace Gallery with a fabulous roster of exhibitions and the introduction of a performance-based pro-
ject through the summer in Alfred Deakin Place.”
Ms Klein said the new Ballarat Backyard Barbecue events had the potential to enliven parts of the central business district.
“You don’t have to be an artist, you don’t have to be a practitioner, you just have to be interested in upcoming opportunities, working with local creative enterprise or be a consumer of art.”
The forum has the potential to bring together representatives and issues facing the local arts community.
Emerging Ballarat photographer Aldona Kmiec said arts provided a tourism drawcard for Ballarat but that more affordable gallery space was needed.
“For a city with 100,000 people we need more spaces for artists to produce and show their art as well as seek advice and contacts,” Ms Aldona said.
“Melbourne galleries are too expensive for most new artists and photographers and we can’t be looking to there or Sydney for support.”
Ms Kmiec said Ballarat’s International Foto Biennale could provide strategies for more exhibition space, with restaurants, pubs and cafes showing the work of local artists.
For more information or to RSVP for the forum, email firstname.lastname@example.org