Kerrol Blackett shows off the newest Mitchell attraction: 101 Mary St, Mitchell.
Kerrol Blackett shows off the newest Mitchell attraction: 101 Mary St, Mitchell.

Mitchell art goes on display in home gallery

A LOVE of Mitchell and a determination to show off what local artists have to offer is what inspired Kerrol Blackett to turn her Queenslander into an art gallery – 101 Mary St, Mitchell.

Her hard work will culminate on Saturday when the gallery officially opens, just in time as more tourists head west post-coronavirus.

During the height of the pandemic, Ms Blackett was housebound, and as a self-processed extrovert, she decided she wanted to bring people into her home.

“I thought ‘this is such a beautiful house, I love it and I wanted to do something with it’, so I sold my furniture and started setting up this gallery,” she said.

“My husband inspired me to start painting a few years ago, before that I had no idea I could paint, so when my husband passed away a few years ago I kept going.”

Ms Blackett’s hope is that tourists will hear about her gallery through other travellers, but in the interim will use her skills to spread the word.

“I sit out the front of the Mitchell museum, and I paint caricature emus with any hat or accessory on them you could want,” she said.

“So I’m hoping tourists keep taking an interest in that, and then I can tell them about my gallery.”

To start, Ms Blackett has about ten local exhibitors, including iron workers, homemade silk scarfs died with local leaves, paintings, quilting and more.

Donations on entry will go towards setting up a community vegetable garden in town, as well as the Mungallala Wildlife Rescue.

“I think there is so much talent in Mitchell, and I want that to be exhibited,” she said.

“I want tourists to go away from here saying ‘if you go to Mitchell, you have to go see Kerrol and she will tell you all about Mitchell’. That’s the attraction I want.”