Monday, November 18, 2013

Launch Week

This is the big week that so many people have been waiting for. There's been  years of planning going into the refurbishment of the historic Hawthorn Town Hall, which now officially becomes the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Town Hall Gallery is very excited to fling open its automated doors and welcome you to come inside, spend some time with our fabulous art, and soak up the atmosphere of a world class venue right here in Boroondara.

Gallery One, with entrance on left and looking down to Gallery 2 on the right
The doors will open at 10am on Friday the 22nd of November, and the curatorial team and our wonderful volunteers will be here to say hello, beaming brightly with a combination of exhausted excitement and anticipatory anxiousness! Actually, we might well just be enjoying the artworks ourselves, reflecting on the adventure that's been undertaken and the plans we have in store for the future of the gallery.

Our public programming is just one aspect of our plans for Town Hall Gallery, but an incredibly important one. It's not just a case of putting great art into the spaces and allowing audiences to see it. That's a key task of a public gallery, of course, but there are ways in which we plan to provide a fuller and more rich engagement with art, its ideas and its people.

The first public event to get things rolling will be the guided tour of the exhibition, Marker: Ten Years of the Town Hall Gallery Collection. Mardi will be discussing the way in which the collection has come together, sharing her experiences of acquiring the various works and giving a valuable insight into the nature of public gallery collecting. This would be an ideal opportunity for collectors, artists and art lovers to learn more about how and why artwork is brought together for the purposes of building a living public repository of cultural resources. The talk is completely free, open to all, and starts off at 1pm on Saturday 23 November - contact us to make sure you get a place.

On Sunday 24 November we'll be presenting: Paper Play: Cut. Fold. Draw. Colour. Paste. Keep. RepeatGuided by Sayraphim (Sayra) Lothian, come plant yourself at one of our workstations in the Community Art Space and draw, cut, collage or assemble your own paper-based art pieces. Aside from the wonderful opportunity to flex your creative muscle, you'll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from the windows and the rather spectacular views out to the city from the upper reaches of the building. Bookings aren't necessary for the event, which runs from 11am until 3pm. Equipment and materials will be here for you to utilise, and it could be a great opportunity to bring the kids and make some art!

Following the launch week, we have two further events scheduled. On Saturday 30 November, Mardi will lead a panel discussion on issues around public gallery collections. The no-doubt lively conversation will offer a variety of views from the artist, donor, gallery and collectors perspectives. The panel kicks off at 1.30pm and is expected to run until 3.30pm. This is a free event and one not to be missed! Book your place and get your questions ready!

And then, just in time for the holiday season, you can make your very own set of Eric Thake inspired Christmas Cards. Under the direction of our expert printmakers, you'll be carving and printing your own unique linocut cards for your friends and family. Enjoy an in-depth look at the works of Eric Thake featured in the Marker exhibition, and then immerse yourself in the land of lino printing. Lunch and materials will be provided. Date and time - Saturday 7 December, 11am until 4pm; Cost - $40 ($25 students); Bookings necessary!

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