Three of the quARTz HuB founding members (from left) Kris Janke, Julie-Ann Payne, and Freda Gillieatt are excited by the new talent their uncovering in Gympie.
Three of the quARTz HuB founding members (from left) Kris Janke, Julie-Ann Payne, and Freda Gillieatt are excited by the new talent their uncovering in Gympie. Scott Kovacevic

Art hub helps find hidden gems

HIDDEN gold is being unearthed in Gympie once more with the opening of quARTz HuB, the community vision of several art aficionados fom the area.

Senior volunteer and founding member Kris Janke said the not-for-profit hub was designed to be a central piece of Gympie's art community.

"It's been an eye opener for me personally, to see how much talent there is in our community, it's like you know they're here but you don't see them,” Mrs Janke said.

"Now we're seeing them.”

With the project already a whirlwind - going from the initial decision to open doors within eight weeks - she said the growth they had seen since was fantastic, with the number of artisans stocking wares rising from 24 to more than 30.

She added the hub was also key in developing the social networks of the region's artists.

"I've spoken to a lot of new artisans who are coming into the hub, and they have the same thing,” she said.

"They've only recently moved here and they're looking to create connections and make friends.”

Mrs Janke said the genesis of the hub, and what they hope it will become, began with a fellow Friends of the Gallery member and founding partner.

"Julie Ann (Payne), our local poet and philosopher, planted the seeds a few years ago.

"She was at a council run workshop exploring how arts can build resilience in the community after major disasters and floods.”

Having grown up in Gympie, Mrs Janke said she had moved back two years ago for the lifestyle.

Dabbling in art while working as a book keeper and now making jewellery herself, she understands artistic talent can be hidden and was grateful the hub gave them a chance to continue what she says is the region's vast history in finding buried gold.

"Every artisans who sells in this space, or participates in this space, is a resident in the Gympie region,” she said.

Gympie Times


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