ARTISTS from the region have been stamping their social media posts with the hashtag #TogetherInArtSurfCoast in a move to build networks and stay connected to their practice.
An initiative of Anglesea’s Surf Coast Shire Art Space, gallery co-ordinator Ellise Roberts said she and secretary Daniela Rodriguez set up the hashtag soon after its website was launched.
She said each post would be transferred to an online gallery, to be showcased on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (June 7-9).
“We wanted to run an exhibition together here which was predominantly going to be a fundraiser, but because of COVID-19, that isn’t possible. As the art space is closed, it’s now all online.
“We felt it was really important to keep artists connected to the art space and to each other during this time, and we thought by creating the hashtag, we’d be able to see what artists have been doing down here.
“It’s really just a window into the daily life of an artist at this time of isolation on the Surf Coast because it looks very different for everybody.”
Ms Roberts said more than 50 posts were sporting the hashtag so far and that the gallery was keen to see creative expression across all mediums including poetry, animation and performance.
She also said the art space’s team of volunteers had been working hard to make use of social media and better promote the gallery during its closure.
“Community spaces have a stigma of being a bit old-fashioned and daggy, but we really want to make this a professional space people want to exhibit at and is known for having great exhibitions. The art space has had a great reputation in the past and the community have worked hard to make it this way.
“We’re now offering artists the opportunity to expand their creative networks and keep them connected with the art space.
“What we do is we get the connections for them and then we direct it directly to the artists, so it’s basically just another opportunity for artists to sell artworks through our networks. And because the art space isn’t open, the artists get 100 per cent profit.”
The space’s most recent exhibition Women of the Hinterland was the last to be showcased before the gallery was closed in accordance with federal and state government restrictions.
Surf Coast Shire council’s arts development officer Harriet Gaffney said she requested the committee build a website once it had shut the art space’s doors.
“The fabulous committee jumped right on it and had it up and running within a few weeks.
“Another reason behind the website creation from council’s point of view was to ensure that we could keep arts workers employed at this time.
“The website builds on a very conscious decision to build the space’s profile, and follows the design of the new logo and introduction of a paid co-ordinator and voluntary committee last June.”
To check out the gallery’s new website and find more information on #TogetherInArtSurfCoast, head to surfcoastartspace.com.au or follow @surfcoast_artspace on Instagram.