In 2010, a new Australian, regional gallery, in Maryborough, Queensland, ‘Gatakers Artspace’, received funding for a major project that sought to stimulate audience engagement and interest in local museums through innovative approaches to interpreting and examining their collections. I was asked to lead and curate that project.
Maryborough is one of the oldest settlements in Queensland and has more museums than any other regional town in Queensland. It is sited inland from a major coastal tourism destination and its historical collections play a large part in attracting visitors to the town.
The ‘Collective Insites’ project positioned local museums as a place of relevance to contemporary culture and local community. Over several months five regional artists worked with five historical collections towards a series of exhibitions held in the gallery from May to August in 2011.
The project provides a model for collaborations between artists, galleries, and historical collections in regional areas, and gives an insight into how creative approaches can invigorate the interface between museums and their audience. It brought various elements in the community together in a shared project that forged strong connections between local cultural institutions, and between those institutions and the community. The creative capital of local artists was applied to invigorating and strengthening these connections and enhancing the economic potential of a tourism activity.
'Collective Insites' was given a special commendation in the 2011 Queensland Gallery and Museums Achievement Awards and a short e-book about the project is available from Apple, Amazon and Smashwords.
For a complete description
of the Collective Insites Project
The Collective Insites Project
Curator Judy Barrass