ALL OPEN: Jo Duke opens the Finishing Touches exhibition.
ALL OPEN: Jo Duke opens the Finishing Touches exhibition. Luka Kauzlaric

Exhibition launch bittersweet as group still seeks new home

THE LAUNCH of the Finishing Touches exhibition was bittersweet for Community Arts on Goondoon as the future location of the group of artists remains in limbo.

Starting on Friday, Finishing Touches will be the last exhibition held at the current space.

The group has until March 31 to leave the building, after they were given a notice to leave in November.

Media co-ordinator Kristel Kelly said they had looked at a few options for a new location, but the group was yet to find a solution.

"The search is ongoing at this stage. It is hard trying to find a space for a workshop and a gallery," she said.

"Being a not-for-profit organisation, and having to pay commercial rent, puts us on the back foot."

A silent auction held as part of the latest exhibition is hoped to generate funding for the move.

The move will involve shifting two printing presses, display cases, easels, office furniture and a range of art materials.

Mrs Kelly said some of the artworks displayed in the aptly titled Finishing Touches exhibition were influenced by the imminent closure.

Others reflect what has been inspiring artists over the past couple of months.

Although a new location is unclear, Mrs Kelly is positive the group has a future in Gladstone.

"We're going to survive, no matter what," she said.

"Even if we don't find a home, we'll still find a way to provide the services that we are currently providing - and perhaps even more."

Help needed

  • Community Arts on Goondoon are still looking for a new home.
  • The centre currently has regular children's and adult art classes, exhibitions and a gift shop gallery.
  • Ideally they would like to keep all of these in the one space, but are willing to consider any offer.
  • If you have an idea, or can offer support in any way email creativegladstone@gmail.com

Artists determined to go on

COMMUNITY Arts on Goondoon will survive in some shape or form if the passionate artists behind the centre have anything to do with it.

WE WILL SURVIVE: Arts on Goondoon workshop and showroom co-ordinator Christa Coetzee.
WE WILL SURVIVE: Arts on Goondoon workshop and showroom co-ordinator Christa Coetzee. Luka Kauzlaric

Despite the group not knowing where their next location will be, showroom and workshop co-ordinator Christa Coetzee said too many artists had invested time and talent in the centre for it to be lost.

"There are so many artists that use our space, and a vast amount of knowledge between the artists… if we were to lose it, it would be really sad," she said.

Preparing for their last exhibition, in between searching for new property, has been a hectic experience and also a bit sad for the group, which started from humble beginnings in 2010.

It is very sentimental, because a lot of effort has been put in to get it where it is today.

What began as a Target storage shed was transformed by volunteers into three galleries, a gift shop, print room and a large workshop.

"It is very sentimental, because a lot of effort has been put in to get it where it is today," Ms Coetzee said.

"Whatever happens, we will carry on. Even if we have to go into storage for a month, we will find the right place at the right time."

Finishing Touches was opened by Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum curator Jo Duke last Friday and will run until March 21.

People can visit the exhibition and bid in the silent auction during the centre's normal opening times Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and on Saturday from 10am to noon.