Take a walk down memory lane at a special exhibition that will open at Caloundra Regional Gallery this Friday (August 7) to celebrate the gallery’s 20th anniversary.

The exhibition features works from the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, Sunshine Coast Art Prize winners from 2006 to 2019 and images showcasing the gallery’s history.

Caloundra Regional Gallery first opened its doors on August 11, 2000, featuring an exhibition by local artist Peter Hudson.

Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said our modest gallery had helped build an enthusiastic and loyal audience for visual arts in the region.

“Regional art galleries play a critical development role in the creative industries and cultural identity of a town or region, and as the only publically operated gallery in our region, the Caloundra Regional Gallery has carried that considerable weight very successfully,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Since it opened in 2000, it’s easy to imagine the fantastic number of local artists the gallery has supported, in addition to fostering and hosting national and international exhibitions as well as cultivating one of the most well-renowned regional art prizes in the state.

“I remember being at the opening, thinking that Bark Design had done a fantastically creative conversion of a small existing office space into a flexible gallery space with just enough capacity to serve us while we learn and grow as a region.

“Twenty years later, we have certainly learned and with amalgamation we have certainly grown.

“Well done to all concerned and I would like to thank the artists who contribute their work, members of the arts community and members of the Friends, who were all involved in championing for a gallery and who are an integral part of the gallery’s history and future.”

Gallery Director Jo Duke said she was honoured to be a part of this significant time in the gallery’s story.

“I joined the gallery in September last year, and feel privileged to be a part of these celebrations,” Ms Duke said.

“The anniversary exhibition will take gallery visitors on a walk down memory lane along a timeline filled to the brim with images and documents mapping the extraordinary history of the gallery.

“There’s also a Director’s Cut, with each of the past four directors and myself selecting two collection works to showcase in this exhibition.

“The Sunshine Coast community has been a wonderful supporter of the gallery over the past 20 years and I look forward to welcoming everybody to this remarkable exhibition.”

Marie Pigott, a long-term member and president of Friends Regional Gallery Caloundra Inc for the past six years said the gallery held a special place in her heart.

“The Friends played an integral part in establishing Caloundra Regional Gallery and providing ongoing support over the past 20 years,” Ms Pigott said.

“The Friends aim to support the gallery, our sponsors and patrons who support the gallery and the community who also support the gallery.

“With this backing, it’s always exciting when we have raised sufficient funds to say to the gallery, ‘where is your wish list?’ and be able to provide those essential items and finance innovative programs, including the Local Artists, Local Content art prize.

“I would like to say thank you to all past and present Friends members – It’s been hard work but a wonderful ride.”

Gallery directors include Sandra Conte (Clarke) 2000-2004, John Waldron 2004-2012, Nina Shadforth 2012-2016, Hamish Sawyer 2016-2019 and Jo Duke 2019-current.

The Caloundra Regional Gallery building was designed by local architects, Bark Design.

The exhibition will be on display from August 7 – October 4, 2020.

For details on exhibitions, programs and workshops visit the gallery website – gallery.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

You can also follow Caloundra Regional Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Owned and operated by Sunshine Coast Council, Caloundra Regional Gallery is located at 22 Omrah Avenue and is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 2pm.

COVID safe guidelines are in place.

Skye Leong
Author: Skye Leong

Creativity, Community, Culture