ENGAGEMENT – ORGANISATIONS WITH PAID STAFF
Moreton Bay Regional Council
Community Cultural Capacity: Curatorial Development Framework
Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) is the third largest local government in Australia, and owns and operates three art galleries – Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Redcliffe Art Gallery and Pine Rivers Art Gallery.
A key deliverable of Council’s galleries is to foster and develop the artistic practice of regionally-based artists and to contribute to creating a vibrant arts community in the Moreton Bay region. In 2016, it was identified that Council’s galleries have been exhibiting between 10–15 community groups on a regular basis, some for as long as 20 years. It was further observed that most groups don’t have the capacity to develop exhibitions; for example, curatorial skills, installation skills, logistical planning; access to promotion; exhibition and graphic design; and writing about the exhibition concept, the artists and their works.
A Curatorial Development Program (CDP) was created to enhance the capacity of these local artists and groups by detailing the curatorial process that Council’s Galleries team employs to lead out exhibitions. Through a series of meetings and feedback sessions, the team has worked collaboratively with local art groups to build skills and increase the visibility of local artists and artisans beyond the region, by ensuring that their works are exhibited to best practice standards. The CDP framework maps key milestones in an exhibition’s development and allows community art groups to actively participate in the curatorial process from start to finish.
Working within the program framework has introduced new ideas and perspectives for these exhibitions, and the long collaborative process has built trust, excitement and pride in the artists. After 18 months of collaboration and challenging their practice, the artists are ready to show their creations to their networks, building audience anticipation to engage with the artwork and the galleries.
Banner image: 2019 GAMAA trophies created by Queensland artist Lucy Quinn. Photo: Andrea Higgins, courtesy of M&G QLD.