The first business established as part of Bega Valley Shire Council’s Renew the Valley project will be officially opened in Merimbula this week.
The Artz Gallery is a collective of local artists with wares ranging from, pottery, handmade cards, jewellery, fabric and textile creations, and paintings in various media.
It’s a collective under the leadership of watercolour artist, Di Hocking, who elected to join the Renew the Valley project when Bega Valley Shire Council invited expressions of interest from people willing to fill the empty shops throughout the shire.
“Here we have a group of artists who are working collectively to stock and staff the gallery from 10am to 4pm every Thursday to Sunday,” Ms Hocking said.
“They come from various towns and villages in the shire and are delighted to have this opportunity to display and sell their work.”
Members of the group have already demonstrated their resourcefulness by improvising stands and props for the art works and they have been helping each other to set up and display their work.
Council’s Community Engagement and Planning co-ordinator, Rebecca Bogie said the project was just the kind of business envisaged to help stimulate our towns and empty shop spaces.
“This is a great start for the Renew project. We have our first shop opening before Christmas as planned, and we’re currently in the process of having at least three Bega shops opening in the New Year.
The Artz Gallery is located in Palmer Lane, in a former fruit and vegetable shop facing Merimbula’s Market Street carpark.
The all-white interior provides an excellent foil for the colourful artworks and fabrics, and the glass front lets in plenty of light.
An official opening and launch of the Renew the Valley project will be held at the gallery at 4pm, Thursday, December 19. Mayor Bill Taylor and Bega Valley Shire councillors will attend.
Everyone is welcome to attend the opening, and it’s a great opportunity to get some Christmas shopping underway whilst boosting the character and vitality of our towns.
The Artz Gallery opens from Thursday to Sunday between 10am to 4pm. To get all the latest updates on the gallery, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theartzgallerymerimbula
For more information on the Renew the Valley project, go to www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au > Our Shire > Renew the Valley.