A community arts hub that fosters the talents of local and regional artists in Wodonga will soon be subject to a $10 million redevelopment.
Riverine – en plein air is currently showing at Arts Space Wodonga.
For 15 years, Arts Space Wodonga, a gallery and multipurpose space, has provided a vibrant program of creative public activities and exhibitions featuring works by local, regional and touring artists. This year the venue will undergo a major redevelopment so it can further enhance its arts program and support local audiences and creatives.
‘The gallery space that we have currently has one exhibition space, and the new gallery space will have two exhibition spaces plus a community space, so we hope that opens up a lot more opportunity for local, regional and artists further afield to come and exhibit with us,’ said Justine Ambrosio, a Team Leader at Arts Space Wodonga.
The work on show at Arts Space Wodonga features two-and three-dimensional art and includes both touring exhibitions and locally curated shows. Ambrosio cites environmental artist Alison McDonald and prominent Indigenous artist Maree Clarke as some of the key makers showcased in the space in the past year.
Pivotal to Arts Space Wodonga’s ethos is the importance of promoting local artists, something that Ambrosio said will not change once the space has been redeveloped It’s certainly reflected in the current show, Riverine – en plein air.
‘Riverine is a joint exhibition between local artists Alison Percy and Kim Passalaqua and it explores the environment in and around our local area,’ Ambrosio said. ‘In the tradition of the Impressionist painters, they went out and explored the landscapes and painted with all sorts of challenges in their natural environment, so their work is pretty reflective of our locality.
Attracting diverse audiences
Arts Space Wodonga will continue to showcase the work of local and regional artists in the new building but targeting a younger audience will be a priority through immersive and interactive installations. As part of this process, the existing library and meeting rooms will be expanded, ensuring ample space for education programs offering weekly arts experiences for young people.
‘One of our key audiences is young people: children and their families,’ Ambrosio said. ‘Because we’re co-located with a library, we get a really different art audience so this [redevelopment] is a great opportunity to build on that.’
Despite the opportunities presented by the redevelopment, there’s a bittersweet feeling around its demolition.
‘There’s a real connection to this place – it’s been such a significant space for the local community so it’s a little bit sad to see it go, but I think people are really looking forward to the expanded exhibition space and enhanced public and educational programs we will be offering in the new venue,’ Ambrosio said.
‘In terms of Arts Space Wodonga and the role it has played in the local community, I think it’s been pivotal in providing opportunities for artists to build their skills and really have a professional standard gallery for them to exhibit their work in. I think it’s been a wonderful space and we’re really looking forward to the next chapter,’ she concluded.
Visit www.artsspacewodonga.com.au to learn more.