News Blog

The Art Exchange held our AGM Thursday 27th, if you missed it here are some highlights of 2022/23 and news of upcoming activities:

In the past year, the committee has taken over the day-to-day running with Susan Thomas stepping back. We thank Susan for her vision and hard work, she has done an incredible job over the past 21 years, and we are delighted she remains a trusted advisor to help us build on her legacy. We also thank Armando Licul for his service as treasurer, outgoing in 2022 and contribution as a long-term volunteer.

Susan’s last project was fittingly one of the Art Exchanges' largest and most successful events, the Desert Equinox 10th anniversary which saw the Art Exchange host an exhibition in partnership with UNSW and ERIA. We welcomed 30 different artists from across Australia and overseas for a week-long residency to install their artwork, using renewable energy sources. This free event open over the October long weekend showcased incredible art enjoyed by the community, with many site-specific installations. 

Whilst the Desert Equinox is taking a break in 2023, Allan Giddy, Director of ERIA (The Environmental Research Initiative for Art) at UNSW will be holding workshops for local artists in September on using renewable energy for art installations. We plan to hold the Desert Equinox in 2024 with installations from both local and visiting artists and host this at the newly regenerated Imperial Lakes in collaboration with Landcare Broken Hill.

The Art Exchange committee has been delivering some improvements to streamline bookings, operations and refine our space to accommodate the needs of our artists. Post-covid we have seen a great increase in artist residencies which have doubled and we have welcomed new and returning artists to Broken Hill. The far west NSW offers a unique creative experience, and we are focused on further increasing residencies and promoting the town to creatives across Australia and overseas. Many artists that visit fall in love with the region, promote our city in their communities and return to create more work inspired by our unique cultures and natural environment. 

The Grand offers great facilities for exhibitions, events and workshops with a heritage backdrop, courtyard and gallery space. We hosted a Tale of Two Rivers Exhibition for Water Justice, curated by local artist and researcher Dan Schulz. The different rooms and backdrops were perfect to host this mixed-media exhibition. We also hosted a range of events for other organisations, and it was great to welcome the community back after a quiet few covid years. We have other exhibitions booked for later this year that will be promoted in due course and welcome enquiries to use this space.

Local engagement with artistic communities has been a priority for the committee and we have held open days for local artists to use our facilities to create art which will be restarting so watch this space.  We have also restarted regular meetings with arts organisations in the city to build collaboration and expand our reach. 

Waste 2 Art was another local project delivered in collaboration with Lifeline Broken Hill. We received 63 entrants from all sectors of the community and Broken Hill artists took many prizes at the regional finals. The Art Exchange hosted a series of creative workshops to demonstrate methods of creating art using waste as part of this program and we are currently working on planning a new workshop series for the second part of 2023. We look forward to continuing to support local artists and bringing creative opportunities to the community. 

The new committee was elected and includes previous members: 

President John Mcleod, Vice President Megan Gilbert, Secretary Susanne Jones, Treasurer Ron Mathers and Ordinary Members Nadina Benvenisti, Lesley Pippen and Rae Hammond. We welcome Amelia Doban as a new committee member. 

The Art Exchange is a wholly volunteer-led organisation and we are very fortunate to have a great community of volunteers who all contribute something unique to the team. We thank everyone for showing up and bringing their passion, creativity, ideas and time to the table.

Some of us work regularly and others provide support when we have events and projects, and we welcome anyone that’s interested in getting involved with BHAE, whatever time and skills you can share.

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