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The Kingston Arts Precinct Strategy released

By johnboy - 8 July 2011 7

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Arts ACT have released the Kingston Arts Precinct Strategy, and a hefty appendix.

And it seems they want more:

The Glassworks, the Old Bus Depot Markets (held in the Former Transport Depot) and the planned relocation of Megalo Print Studio and Gallery to the precinct are seen to provide a heart for the Kingston Arts Precinct. But on their own they are insufficient to keep the heart beating. This requires abundant extra energy and activity in the precinct to help ensure longevity – to fire up artists and other creative people, and to make it a place that the rest of the community just must visit, and often.

In order to accommodate the identified demand, and to help develop a critical mass of creative activity, proposed here is the adaptive re-use of heritage-listed buildings and spaces, with some new facilities, to provide an integrated, active precinct for visual arts, contemporary arts and other cultural activity. As already announced by the Chief Minister, it is intended that Megalo will relocate to the Fitters‘ Workshop. In addition, it is proposed that there be a new purpose-built building. This is essential for providing the space necessary to create a vibrant, active arts and cultural precinct with this facility having the potential to be a unique, landmark venue for the visual and performing arts, potentially for a curatorial program.

The ultimate goal of the strategy is for a vibrant, high quality, diverse cutting-edge artisan and production precinct that is active seven days and evenings a week, which not only celebrates and respects the site‘s Aboriginal, early settlement and industrial history but also is:

— well-connected to its immediate communities and the broader Canberra community
— adaptable, flexible, accessible and sustainably developed
— underpinned by the infrastructure and resources necessary to give it long-term viability as a place for local and visiting artists, designers, makers and creative businesses, and
— for the wider community is an inspirational place to visit and experience because it is known as a place where artists, cultural organisations and creative businesses make, teach, exhibit, perform and sell their work.

UPDATE: As midnight approached last night Joy Burch’s office distributed a media release bigging this up:

A lakeside outdoor cinema, fashion design centre, night markets, seasonal sculpture exhibits, and a microbrewery are among exciting inclusions being considered by the ACT Government for the future Kingston Foreshore arts precinct.

The new arts hub will build on the existing work of the Canberra Glassworks, the Old Bus Depot Markets, and the imminent move of Megalo Print Studio to the historic Fitter’s Workshop building.

“There is a great opportunity here for us to build on what we already have to turn this site into a diverse arts hub that attracts people from all over Canberra – and even the country – seven days a week, day and night,” Ms Burch said.

The problem being that genuine artists can’t afford Kingston real estate. Historically this is why “arts precincts” naturally accrete in low rent districts.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
The Kingston Arts Precinct Strategy released
dtc 3:06 pm 19 Aug 11

water_lily said :

Thank goodness that someone has thought to put a ‘heart’ into Kingston Foreshore. Kingston Foreshore is ugly. Nobody walks through there; there is nothing happening there; it is just high, cold cement buildings meeting cold cement footpaths. There is no warmth in the place, no greenery. You look out your window and look at another window in the next apartment block. Yuck. And the apartments have the worst reputation. Good one ACTPLA–you have let the developers have their way: make their money and run.

Exactly.

Is the aim of an arts precinct an area that artists hang out at (so workshops and so forth) or that plus the public goes to the area to look at art?

If the latter, then you must have galleries, public workshops, at least somewhere to eat (during the week), shops, exhibits etc. A brewery (beer workshop) and an outdoor cinema (nighttime during limited months) hardly attracts a constant crowd.

water_lily 1:58 pm 19 Aug 11

Thank goodness that someone has thought to put a ‘heart’ into Kingston Foreshore. Kingston Foreshore is ugly. Nobody walks through there; there is nothing happening there; it is just high, cold cement buildings meeting cold cement footpaths. There is no warmth in the place, no greenery. You look out your window and look at another window in the next apartment block. Yuck. And the apartments have the worst reputation. Good one ACTPLA–you have let the developers have their way: make their money and run.

EvanJames 12:44 pm 10 Aug 11

the Art is all very well, but my eyes lit up at the mention of a microbrewery. We can always do with more of those. Good beer is Art, anyway.

Classified 11:29 am 10 Aug 11

EJA said :

The reality is that ARTISTS do deserve to be paid adequately!

Artists deserve to get paid what the free market values their efforts at. Just like everyone else.

Holden Caulfield 10:43 am 10 Aug 11

EJA said :

The reality is that ARTISTS do deserve to be paid adequately!

Really! Why is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I do like and appreciate art very much, but this notion that an artist, even an important UPPER CASE one, deserves to be paid adequately and, seemingly, from the public purse is just a bit too creative for mine.

You know, there’s a lot of other things I’d like to do with my weekdays, but an actual reality, rather than an imagined one, has sent me in a direction where I work a full-time job to help support my ability to cover rents, utility costs and keep me from living under a bridge.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Perhaps my daily grind could be ended if I simply declare my life as an art project and demand adequate payment from the government.

qbngeek 10:35 am 10 Aug 11

EJA said :

Yes….I agree on the comment that artists can’t afford Canberra real estate! I have read many negative comments about Tax Payers spending 400K on public art……well……… artists deserve to be able to pay rent, utility costs and not live under a bridge between sales/commissions!

If you exhibit in a Gallery they want the exclusive rights to your work in that city! You have to wait your turn for a minimum of 18months between shows…….then you have to sell to those that appreciate visual art!

………AND WHAT % OF THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY IS THAT?

How many days, months or even years do you think it takes to bring into fruition an idea in stone or bronze?

The reality is that ARTISTS do deserve to be paid adequately!

On the other hand……..more opportunity should be given to the public to elect the sculpture they would wish to look at on a site…….before it becomes a permanent fixture!

Therefore our public gardens could become temporary exhibitions of proposed art installations with the winner being voted in by the community as a majority vote!

My father got around the issue of not having enough money as an artist. Many years ago (before I was born) he went out and got a job. He kept doing his art after work and sold many works. Now, after many years or hard work he owns several successful takeaways and displays his art in them. He has made more sales through that than through any exhibition he had.

Why is that such a hard concept for artists to understand. Get a job, there is not enought demand for art to support a great deal of full time artists.

EJA 10:19 am 10 Aug 11

Yes….I agree on the comment that artists can’t afford Canberra real estate! I have read many negative comments about Tax Payers spending 400K on public art……well……… artists deserve to be able to pay rent, utility costs and not live under a bridge between sales/commissions!

If you exhibit in a Gallery they want the exclusive rights to your work in that city! You have to wait your turn for a minimum of 18months between shows…….then you have to sell to those that appreciate visual art!

………AND WHAT % OF THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY IS THAT?

How many days, months or even years do you think it takes to bring into fruition an idea in stone or bronze?

The reality is that ARTISTS do deserve to be paid adequately!

On the other hand……..more opportunity should be given to the public to elect the sculpture they would wish to look at on a site…….before it becomes a permanent fixture!

Therefore our public gardens could become temporary exhibitions of proposed art installations with the winner being voted in by the community as a majority vote!

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