Photograph © 2013-2014 Barbara Madden
NewArts Inc. is a committee of volunteers who all share a passion for promoting contemporary art in the community of Albany, Western Australia. Our committee meet regularly to plan and organise the large scale contemporary arts events that it brings to the local community biennially. As a non-profit organisation, we rely on funding from state and federal bodies, local sponsorship and the enormous efforts of our volunteers.
NewArts has an impressive history in presenting inspirational art events. In 2007, 2009 and 2011, we presented Paperartzi, a two week contemporary art event in which paper was used as inspiration or as an ingredient in making artworks. In choosing paper as a theme, the events linked to a major local industry - the export of wood chips from Albany Port to Japan. For each biennial event, visual artists from WA and beyond, writers and performers contributed to exciting programs of exhibitions, readings, talks, workshops and performances, with much of the art presented in shop fronts, cafes and outdoor public spaces in central Albany. During PaperArtzi the central business district came alive with amazing paper creations and performances. Every exhibition space in the town displayed paper-based artworks and international and national guest artists presented talks, workshops and performances.
NewArts has recently become identified with Sculpture in the Harbour. The establishment of Albany’s Waterfront created an ideal waterscape for exhibitions held in 2013 and 2014. Sculpture in the Harbour showcased the work of well-known West Australian three dimensional artists whose large scale sculptural works were displayed in the unique setting of Albany’s Princess Royal Harbour, near the town’s new Entertainment Centre. Both exhibitions were visited by thousands of locals and visitors to the town. The 2014 exhibition was particularly significant as it coincided with the Albany ANZAC Commemoration and was presented as part of the formal program. As such, the sculptors were given the theme of ‘Reflections’ to prompt their own reflections on aspects of WW1.
In presenting art in public spaces, NewArts' aim is to increase the local community’s opportunity to see and engage with contemporary art, thus furthering our mission to develop an audience for a Class A gallery in Albany. A major art gallery would serve as a cultural centre for the housing and showcasing of art from across the disciplines. It would also allow for the presentation of major touring exhibitions and the staging of significant nationwide visual art events. With a sophisticated gallery space added to the town’s other cultural asset, the Albany Entertainment Centre; we believe Albany would become the regional art capital of Western Australia!
NewArts presentations always aim to promote local student engagement with the arts. During our Paperartzi and Sculpture in the Harbour events, hundreds of school children were involved through participation in creative art making activities, attending guided tours of the exhibitions and completing prepared worksheets to enhance English, Art & History studies.