March 10 - 16, 2013: Issue 101

 Pittwater Community Arts Field Trip to Hazelhurst Gallery 

 Prolific Sydney Street Artist BEASTMAN created this large-scale mural on the Hazelhurst building in February 2013. 

 Pittwater Community Arts Field Trip to Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea

Members of the Pittwater Community Arts along with Councillors from Pittwater Council made a trip to Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre at Gymea on Thursday. The Hazelhurst Gallery and Arts Centre is a Sutherland Shire Council initiative. Hazelhurst opened as a regional gallery, community gallery, arts centre and cafe in 2000 and has since become a popular meeting place in southern Sydney. When Lorrie Morgan last visited this great venue the café was much smaller and has been expanded due to the returns this great initiative has brought into the Gallery and Arts centre since its inception. The Centre is run by volunteers and had over 300 thousand visitors last year alone.

Exhibitions, Art Classes, Educational activities, rooms where all mediums of art may be practiced, Guided Tours as well as great food are some of the aspects of this facility. Apart from enjoying all of these the trip was also a great way to research how to get it right in view of opening a similar facility in Pittwater. Michael Mannington spoke to Lorrie Morgan, president of PCA, about this on Thursday;

The whole idea is to have a working Community Art Gallery.  It is envisioned this is going to be the hub for all people to come and meet in  to do any kind of art; ceramics, sculpture, mosaics, painting in oils, watercolours or others, which will hopefully be annexed to a university, so our children in Pittwater can do their course without having to go to the city or Macquarie University. That way they can spend more time working rather then travelling. I do believe the children should get off the peninsula and see there is another world but artworks require big installations and working spaces in some cases; When you do an art work they are usually quite large, and you’re lucky if you have a parent with a van that can transport things for you, if you don’t you need something closer to display or work on this in.

In proposing this we hope to have a hub where people will come and eat and there will be every level of something for them to look at wether they’re artistic or not. There will be a restaurant attached to it, there will be three working classrooms with kilns, sinks, a darkroom for photographers, an auditorium where we’ll be able to have movies and a movie club, and we’ll have two galleries; one regional and one community. We will have sponsors hopefully and encourage others to sponsor this facility.

 Lorrie Morgan, President PCA, Belinda Hanrahan Gallery Director Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Cr. Jacqui Townsend, Mayor of Pittwater

Continued from Front Page

The people in this area are very highly evolved in art and art processes; it lends itself to this area, so developing a community hub and Art Gallery can only support and further the aspirations of artists within the community and those who support, enjoy and invest in their work.

MM: There are already some successful art exhibits here…

Pittwater Community Arts has been successful in showcasing  so many local artists in a series of events. There’s the Arts Trail every May and October, which is so successful, that will be held on the weekends of May 18th and 19th and October 26th and 27th this year. The Artist’s Trail has been well received and attended; we have an annual Art Show held in conjunction with Avalon Market Day annually. The biannual children’s ArtFest which encourages resident children to try out all mediums of art and develop their talents and skills in these areas is very popular, we have local musicians showcasing their talents as part of these, renowned and new artists exhibited which is an opportunity for visitors to renew or meet these as well as good for new and established artists alike, to learn from each other. It establishes and restabilises with each event a commitment to developing Pittwater Artists and invests our culture with all these mediums and ‘voices’, enriching everyone in doing so. 

We participate in both the Heritage Festivals and Guringgai Festivals run annually, and last year we had our inaugural Ceramics Show and also launched Heartsong, an anthology of Pitwtater poetry, so there are already annual events which celebrate and attract art lovers to Pittwater. So many people here paint or do something along an artistic line; they are either a musician or a dancer, all of these disciplines are art; I even call knitting art. I think anybody who creates anything is an artist.  To have a permanent facility to support all those who participate in these arts, where they can practice or further their skills, that can then be used to showcase them in a series of events, would be a boon not only to our artists but to all in the community. People attracted to the area for such events would also visit other facilities or become aware of all Pittwater has to offer, whether it’s hiring a boat to enjoy the water or visiting one of the many other shops to purchase their wares. Organising Tour Groups to incorporate other Pittwater attractions or places to visit is one of the ideas on this list. The community as a whole would benefit.

MM: How far down the track are you in this? You have been speaking about various workshop that have occurred; you have obviously given this a lot of thought..

I’ve been talking about it for 12 years but quietly as when you start to talk about a project of this scale people start to ask ‘where’s the money coming from?’. This really puts a damper on everything. If we don’t see the bigger picture and we don’t move and do something, we’ll never get there. That’s the bottom line; you’ve got to have the passion, you have to be passionate about something in your life. I’m passionate about Art, I talk about it day and night. I know not everybody is but most have some form of art they connect with; some painting that speaks to them or they simply enjoy for its aesthetic value or how it makes them feel; some piece of music, some film, a piece of sculpture…

Art is the greatest relieving thing that you can ever do in life; if you can go and do a painting or sit down and do some form of artwork, you forget about the bills you haven’t paid or the money you haven’t got, the fight you had with your husband or wife that morning, or if the kids have been awful; all those things. When you can sit down and create something you create a space that you can just think and be yourself in. This too is beneficial. 

I’ve taught at the MS Painters where a couple cannot hold a brush, I’ve taught at the Conductive Education Centre at Allambie where some paint with a brush between their teeth and they feel they’ve achieved something. Art can make ordinary people feel great, feel extraordinary.

I think it’s time; the Council is listening and the people are listening and I think we could be just on the verge of getting this done. Pittwater Community Arts, over 10 years, has accomplished many of these and now we are striving for a bigger dream; a working Art Gallery. Currently we are looking at different spaces trying to find something that is appropriate and will work, enable all these parts of a Gallery, performance, dining, showcasing and teaching.

We would like people to think about this project and if they could help in any way to come forward and contact me to discuss this. It is not just for now, it is for the future of all the people that will live here on the peninsula. The big thing with this is it will bring people to the peninsula; to our shops, our area. It will keep people in the community going in all sorts of ways.

Editor: Pittwater Council is currently asking all residents to participate in a survey regarding Arts In Pittwater to help them formulate their Arts Paper. Details HERE. Online Survey HERE Lorrie can be contacted on 9997 8079 or emailed at: lorriemay@bigpond.com

Michael Mannington's Volunteer Photography Public Gallery HERE