Wagga Wagga CBD set to thrive with Creative Businesses opening
Two new creative businesses led by local artists will open their doors on Thursday 27 May. An initiative of Eastern Riverina Arts, RENEW WAGGA is breathing new life into empty shopfronts in Wagga Wagga and providing exciting opportunities for local artists.
Located in Tompson Street, the first two creative businesses to take part in the project are visual artist Maggie Deall’s The Little Yellow House Gallery & Studio and F.Stop Workshop, a joint venture between photographers James Farley and Patrick Ronald.
Ms Deall is an entrant in this year’s Archibald Prize and is looking forward to running workshops, opening her studio to the public and providing a retail space where you can purchase her art and the works of other artists from around the Riverina.
Ms Deall says, “My dream has been to have a commercial space of my own to show my art and to both paint and teach in. I had been looking at spaces but the cost was prohibitive until I was selected to be part of this program. This is literally a dream come true.”
Farley & Ronald’s F.Stop Workshop will be a collaborative hub for local photographers to hone their skills. They will run analogue and digital photography workshops for all ages, have a darkroom available and will exhibit their own work alongside that of other Riverina photographers. It will also provide a vital link to other photographic groups outside of Wagga.
The OPEN DAY on Thursday 27 May will include a series of workshops that the public can attend from midday until 4pm. The Little Yellow House Studio & Gallery will be offering a range of workshops and artist talks from midday including a First Nations weaving demonstration and artist talk with Debbie Wood, alcohol ink workshop, acrylic painting demo and artist talks by Maggie Deall and Megan Cameron.
F.Stop Workshop will be offering discounted wet plate portrait sittings from midday to 4pm, a method of capturing a portrait first made popular in the 1850s. Bookings are essential for all activities during the Open Day.
Ms Claire Harris, Creative Business Officer for Eastern Riverina Arts is excited to see the doors open.
“This is the first phase in a real renaissance in the Wagga Wagga CBD. This initial cohort of RENEW WAGGA artists will pave the way for future participants, and over the next two years new creative businesses will be popping up all over town,” she said.
“Eastern Riverina Arts are really pleased with the co-operation and enthusiasm of the landlords in town and we are already taking applications from artists with creative business proposals who wish to take part in the next phase of the project,” said Ms Harris.
RENEW WAGGA is not just about finding a retail, office or studio space. Eastern Riverina Arts has also been providing business advice and support to artists throughout the project as they come up with creative ways to activate the CBD and grow their own businesses.
Tim Kurylowicz, Executive Director of Eastern Riverina Arts, said “Renew Wagga is our way of creating a win-win for the local economy, and giving people even more reasons to come into the city and support local businesses.”
“A very generous landlord has allowed these artists to trial their creative businesses rent-free. In exchange, they will draw new customers into town, which will benefit the whole retail ecosystem.
“Ultimately, the goal is to see these creative startups evolving into self-sustaining businesses that make Wagga more vibrant and prosperous.”
This project has been made possible through the support of Renew Australia and the NSW Government.
More information & open day bookings can be found at https://easternriverinaarts.org.au/renew-wagga/ or phoneTim Kurylowicz on 0403 878 442 OR Claire Harris on 0405 061 341 firstname.lastname@example.org