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Showcase of Fraser Coast artistic talent to be unveiled

8 February, 2019

The work of 21 Fraser Coast artists will be showcased in an unprecedented exhibition opening at the Hervey Bay Regional Art Gallery tonight.

Common Ground Exhibition Curator and participating artist Susie Lewis said the ambitious project had been two years in the making and had been designed to bring together the artists of the Fraser Coast.

“Being an artist is often a very solitary pursuit, and it means we are often on our own when it comes to trying to get ahead in the art industry,” she said.

Common Ground was all about forming a collective of artists that could learn and develop alongside each other while working on a collaborative exhibition project.”

Through the support of Fraser Coast Regional Council, artists undertook specially designed education modules that assisted in the development of their art industry skills, such as art writing and exhibition practices.

Common Ground has been the opportunity to put all they have learned into action,” Ms Lewis said.

Councillor David Lewis said the exhibition had taken its inspiration from the special relationship the Fraser Coast region holds with sister city Leshan in China.

“The exhibition is about exploring the common ground that our two very diverse communities and cultures share,” he said.

“It’s all about exploring the qualities, concepts and ideals that unite us as human beings. Art is about conversation and it’s hoped that through Common Ground we can work towards an artistic exchange with our sister city.

“The Fraser Coast Regional Council is proud to support local artists to develop their skills and ensure that arts and culture are an everyday experience in our region.”

Susie Lewis said the opportunity to take part in Common Ground over the past two years had been a significant achievement for many of the artists.

“It has helped to build their professional and their personal confidence in so many ways,” she said.

“The group of artists have formed really strong bonds, and are now so supportive of each other’s development. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of it all.”

Common Ground officially opens tonight with a special free ‘Art After Dark’ event at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery from 6pm, with the exhibition running until 17 March 2019.