Opening of Abundance

Opening of Abundance

Champion of the Grassland Art Gallery, Cassie Swanson, was unable to attend the opening but was on hand to deliver her speech via Zoom.

Hello Everyone!
Welcome to you all!
I’m so excited to be doing this, back among old friends, and in our lovely little Gallery!
It’s even more exciting for me because I’ve never done Zoom before!
It does seem a little bizarre to be sitting in my Studio in Toowoomba, and welcoming you to the Opening of “Abundance” – the Local Artists Exhibition of 2023, in Grasslands Gallery in Tambo!
I know there will be a lot of excited Artists there today, too!
It’s hard to believe that 12 years have raced by since we opened our first Exhibition here! Metka Skrobar was the opening artist, and went onto become a tutor, mentor and friend  to many of us, in the coming years.
It’s been a wonderful journey for me to be part of the developing art scene in the Central West over the past 30 years, and I’m reassured to see the depth of talent in the next generation of emerging artists, as shown here today.
I’m hoping to see Western Qld artists continuing to expand to other areas as they have moved on from Tambo, and showcasing their talents to the rest of Qld.
Tambo is so lucky to have this incredible facility, which was really hard won. It is such a valuable resource, and we must support it in every way we possibly can! It must be nurtured and encouraged as much as possible by the community! Come and see the wonderful, varied smorgasbord of exhibitions which it’s possible to see right here in Tambo! Learn to paint at the workshops! Childrens workshops for the children! Enjoy everything on offer! Support and encourage all the volunteers who keep it running smoothly year after year! There is a shortage of volunteers, as there is everywhere, so volunteer to help! You’ll find it so rewarding, and your efforts will be returned tenfold!

I’d like to mention at this point, my lovely friend and neighbour, Kim Davidson. Kim tragically passed away last year, and this Gallery is part of her legacy. Kim fought for years to have an Art Gallery built in Tambo. Having husband Dougal,  as Mayor may, or may not, have helped. However, when money was allocated to Tambo for the Bicentenary celebrations, Kim seized the chance, and at last her dream came true!

Kim invited me with others, to consult with the architects and help design the Gallery and Workshop. We loved it and became immersed in the transformation of the old Tambo Store, into a modern Art Gallery, with all the facilities necessary to house valuable travelling Exhibitions. The Storeroom at the back, became our Workshop, fully air conditioned, and comfortable. Suddenly, the Gallery provided a hub for a vibrant Art Community in Tambo! The Arts Council formed a dedicated and passionate Committee to help the Council run it, and we were away!

My involvement with Tambo Arts Council, and Grasslands, lay mainly in helping organise Art workshops, with the many super talented artist/tutors we were lucky enough to host! Several of these each year.
Also in curating the annual Local Artists Exhibitions, which really formed the backbone of our year, and showcased our increasingly talented artists.
Hanging and demounting at least 4 exhibitions per year, and organising the accompanying Openings, became quite stressful for us a Committee! And also, for our supportive wonderful husbands! The boys who somehow seemed to always run the bar come to mind, and deserve a big clap!
Which brings me back to today.  I would love to be with you to catch up with you all, and to see your paintings and sculptures. I’ve had a little preview of it, thanks to Kiralee, for videoing it! But there’s nothing like seeing it in the flesh!
The talent of our two Communities is quite overwhelming, and we can thank the B/T Council, RADF, and especially Tambo Arts Council who have contributed substantially both financially, and with volunteer hours, to the on going financial success of the Gallery. The support of these organisations has helped our artists become increasingly talented and confident. I am so proud of having been part of it, and proud of you all!

Now, without further ado, I shall declare “Abundance” the Local Artists Exhibition of 2023, open for you all to enjoy!!

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