NEW ATTRACTION: Artists Sandra Evans, Jolanta Szymczyk and Julie Maddocks get the city’s new art space Inspirations Ipswich ready for opening.
NEW ATTRACTION: Artists Sandra Evans, Jolanta Szymczyk and Julie Maddocks get the city’s new art space Inspirations Ipswich ready for opening. Rob Williams

Gallery to open for local arts

A GROUP of 10 artists has banded together to open a much needed smaller gallery for the city in the Ipswich Mall.

Inspirations Ipswich will open in the former cafe space next to the cinemas in the Ipswich City Square on November 21.

Booval artist Julie Maddocks said the gallery would feature art inspired by Ipswich in the main gallery area, hold exhibitions in what was the cafe's kitchen and host workshops in two rooms to the back of the shop space.

The artist-run, not-for-profit gallery will be joined soon after opening by Ipswich Art Gallery's school holiday programs taking up the neighbouring shopfront temporarily while the gallery is closed for renovations.

Since the Dingley Dell Gallery at North Ipswich closed, there has been limited art space available to artists for smaller exhibitions outside of the Ipswich Art Gallery programs.

"We had spoken about having a space for the traditional arts. There is nothing for artists doing traditional arts," Ms Maddocks said. "Our vision is for this artist run co-op to cater for a wide range of artistic pursuits, building on traditional art practices and styles.

"We have a fabric artist, porcelain, painters, glass, enamellists that do jewellery and photographers.

"It is stepping back a little bit in time and giving exposure to those dying arts.

"We are trying to give those artists a space and trying to revive those arts where the member numbers are down."

Ms Maddocks and porcelain artist Sandra Evans came up with the idea to form a collective and take up the space through the Activate Ipswich program while they working on the Bottle Alley mural project this year under the Animating Spaces program.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said Activate Ipswich gave start-up enterprises a helping hand while filling empty commercial space to boost foot traffic in the CBD.

"Arts and culture is one of the backbones of any community and to have galleries like this opening in the CBD, we're on the right track.

CBDs have to be more than retail shopping.

"They have to become entertainment based."



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