Studio2 and the Arts Hub

TAFE building

The TAFE building as an arts hub?

So Studio2 has recently had to leave their current premises on Flinders St, Townsville. This is a sad occasion for me personally, and for the arts community in general. Studio2 have an amazing story of their rise to glory. They started out as a small artist collective who would transform a disused city space into an exhibition space for themselves and other emerging artists.

  • 18 Solo exhibitions for emerging artists …
  • 4 Charity fundraising Exhibitions
  • 15 Group Exhibitions
  • 5 Student Exhibitions

That’s what they’ve done for the community (and a whole lot more, they run workshops for children, have retail space, and taken art outside of their studio to schools, museums, and the public arena).

For me personally… I was in one of their first student shows “Raw & Ready” when I was studying Bachelor of New Media Arts at JCU. Near the end of my degree, I had to do work experience placement. I chose Studio2 and learned a lot about how they operated and what the day to day runnings of the gallery were like. At the end of my placement, I was offered a permanent place at the gallery as a resident artist! For months I helped to run the retail side, and got to create work in their studio, and most importantly, there was a coffee cup holder with my name on it in the kitchen among the rest. I felt a great sense of belonging and welcome. I was part of their first year anniversary show “LUSH” in 2011. Then I left studio2 for a traineeship at Umbrella Studio which was conveniently located next door to Studio2. The galleries are the best of friends, and I would often visit, and still get to participate in group shows like “Innovation2″ just a month ago.

Not anymore.

Studio2 have lost their space to the building owner. There are many arts groups in Townsville with similar stories. A successful model that would support all these little groups would be the Arts Hub. A cluster of creative organisations in their own precinct. The TAFE building in Townsville is a great example. The rooms are purpose built for arts practice in many places. And it’s empty! Ripe for the picking. Now I have also heard some things about WHY it’s been closed in the first place, and the presence of asbestos, and I’m not saying the Arts Hub needs to be in the TAFE building. But we need one SOMEWHERE.

And to prove that, tomorrow at 9am there will be a public rally. We hope to see you there.

Alan Junior – Arts Enthusiast

Asbestos update: ”Almost every building built before the 80s has some asbestos. As long as it is undisturbed, it isn’t a problem.” – Sue Tilley

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