The purpose of the Inala Community Art Gallery and Cultural Centre is to create a community for art and other cultural activities. The gallery is a Not-For-Profit Organisation,the only one of its kind in Brisbane,and is run by volunteers,and a management committee.
The vision was to involve the community in a broader range of creative activities available to all.
The gallery was committed to develop people’s art, cultural and other options and to assist in creativity, working together,self esteem and relationship skills.
The has been achieved by the number of people from all walks of life and cultures who have participated in classes that have been offered.
The gallery is opened to the community to express their opinions,ideas and suggestions as art and culture are vital links and essential parts of a progressive community. We envisaged that schools would take up the offer and display their artistic skills,which they have done.
This in turn encourages parents to visit the gallery and no doubt would spread the word of our activities.
Volunteers have offered their skills to potential artists some of whom,in turn,have become tutors.
The Gallery opened in 1997 with a dedicated group of volunteers and the local council member at that time,Councillor Les Bryant, whose aim was to establish a Community Art Gallery in Inala for all people who were involved in arts and crafts, and to give them the opportunity to display their art in a more prominent gallery.
Les Bryant has always shown and has an active interest in the Inala Art and Community Cultural Centre. He is currently a Gallery member and was invited to be patron of Inala Arts which he accepted. Since its inception Les has always attributed responsibility in the management,promotion and operation of the Gallery.
From then it increased in popularity and paid part time staff were employed with a grant from the council. This enabled us to move outside to other areas and invite artists from indigenous, other ethnic groups as well as government institutions to display their art work in our gallery.
The Gallery was involved in implementing and running a number of festivals, Asian cooking classes and other training courses for interested persons. Photography, dancing and music were very popular. Through successful grants we were able to purchase recording equipment.. Two groups formed their own bands and they were able to produce their own cds. One group went on to achieve relative success.
The gallery also has catered for the disadvantaged members of the community. Work for the dole program was successful and funded by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations with many gaining employment through the experience gained in the program.
“The Year of the Outback”, held in 2002, was one of the most outstanding exhibitions held at the gallery. Gallery critics who visited commented that this particular exhibition was of the highest quality with its excellent content and presentation, the likes of which had not been seen before in Brisbane suburbs, let alone in a small gallery like that of Inala. Members of the Gallery committee have chosen to go with exhibitions symbolising Anzac and Remembrance (Armistice) Days with youth from local schools encouraged to participate in the activities. It is great to see these young ones express themselves regarding Remembrance Day.
“Urban Dreaming” is a yearly event held during Naidoc Week, where indigenous artists from local and surrounding areas display their art at the gallery.
We recognise the need for funding in order to run the gallery in a responsible and professional manner, whether it be through grants or sponsorship. We hope that government departments will assist in further funding as a lot of people, both young and old, appreciate our Gallery.
I feel honoured that I was given the privilege of writing this article on the achievements of the Inala Art and Culture Centre.