Photo courtesy of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre.
As the only major arts centre in southern Sydney, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre caters to a broad community. It’s a welcome challenge for the vibrant establishment, which had over 200,000 visitors last year, making it one of the most popular regional arts centres in the state.
Centre Manager and Gallery Director, Belinda Hanrahan explained that Hazelhurst ‘provides access to art, and the wonderful enriching role art has, to a very broad base of the community. We’re a very accessible and beautiful arts complex. Some would refer to us as an arts oasis in the suburbs.’
The focus of Hazelhurst’s diverse artistic program is the support of artists. On 30 May the Centre will open the 2015 iteration of the popular Art on Paper award, which as Hanrahan explained ‘has 93 artists who have worked with all the myriad possibilities of paper, whether printmaking, drawing, paper installation, or video. It will showcase contemporary art in both our Regional and Community Galleries.’ The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of workshops and masterclasses.
In a change of pace, the following exhibition Labours of Love (8 August – 5 October) will explore Australian quilts from 1850 to 2015, with 40 crafted textiles from major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum and the National Trust, as well as highlights from regional areas and contemporary quilts. The exhibition explores how quilts ‘reveal social histories. They’ve been created for social occasions, have marked historical events, they’re heirlooms…We like a program that’s eclectic and really engages, surprises and delights people as the year goes on,’ Hanrahan said, and the forthcoming exhibitions promise to do just that.
The uniqueness of Hazelhurst lies in the diverse range of encounters available to visitors. The art centre offers 50 different types of classes, including painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, jewellery, and mosaic. ‘We have a whole range of artistic programs, from pre-school programs, through to our youth at night program, to our Art and Dementia program, we really cater for lifelong learning across the community,’ said Hanrahan. Other calendar highlights include the Wild Ones Art & Design Market held on Art Fest Days. ‘We strive to find new and different ways to engage people and connect with audiences, and make art accessible on all levels.’
It’s easy to keep up to date with Hazelhurst’s vibrant exhibitions and programs, by connecting with the centre via e-newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, and You Tube. Don’t wait too long until your next visit – there’s always something different happening at this suburban art oasis.
For more information visit Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre.