Culture vultures from across the nation are beginning to descend upon Toowoomba for the launch of The Range Arts Festival this week.
The city has been experiencing a renaissance in contemporary arts and collaborative culture over the past two years, driven by the independent art spaces.
The Range arts festival is the brainchild of Art Curator and University of Southern Queensland graduate, Ashleigh Bunter, who wanted to create an unprecedented platform for the arts in Toowoomba that would bring together the Artist Run Spaces that consistently present brave and innovative projects by diverse groups of artists.
“It’s about bringing the quality creative culture to an audience that might not normally interact with the arts,” Ashleigh says.
"And also showcasing the best arts and culture the Toowoomba region has to offer.”
Curious-minded ‘Rangers’ will be enticed into the city’s premier independent art galleries, creative hubs and live music venues as The Range festival draws together a broad range of arts.
“There are so many talented artists, actors and musicians that choose to live and work in Toowoomba and really high quality galleries tucked away that many people don’t know exist. We wanted to try and program something for everyone, while also opening our artists up to new opportunities and audiences.”
People can pick up a free brochure containing the full program of more than 30 creative events from Avant Card stands across South East Queensland and follow artist Damien Kamholtz’s ARTery Image trail to collect his incredible artworks in magnet form.
The program includes exhibition openings featuring the city’s leading professional and emerging artists, specialised art workshops, artists’ markets, film screenings, a skate comp, youth theatre performances and chances to win original artworks by notable artists. There will also be live music performances from leading Australian bands like Ball Park Music.
Included in the festival program is the USQ Graduart 2012 exhibition opening on Friday, November 9 at 6pm.
Kick-starting the jam packed nine days on November 1 will be free Twilight Cinema on the Empire Lawns. Followed by a gala Opening Night and Creative Showcase held in the majestic Empire Theatre Church, featuring music, drama and dance performances and speeches by figureheads of the Queensland arts industry. Circus performers will twirl on silks from the high ceilings as experts guide you through the secrets to finding and investing in art.
USQ Creative Arts Head of School Associate Professor Janet McDonald will also deliver a special address.
The evening will culminate in an exclusive art auction, offering guests the chance to snap up a selection of work from the region’s most collectible artists.
Tickets for this fundraising event, including canapés and drinks, are $30 from http://therangeopeningnight.eventbrite.com.au
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Jim Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07 4631 2977, 0434 491 129