Murwillumbah arts precinct opens its doors to the public


ONE OF Murwillumbah’s most vibrant artist spaces has opened its doors to the public, allowing people to chat with local artists, watch them at work and buy artworks.

The M-Arts Precinct, a large converted industrial shed on the corner of Proudfoots Lane and Brisbane Street in Murwillumbah, is now open every Monday from 8am to 3pm.

A number of local artists work out of studios in the precinct, including photographer Justin Ealand, painter Arna Baartz and multi-discipline practitioner Joanne Biles.

“We’ve got artists in individual studios, and we’ve opened to the public to keep the ball rolling and keep the atmosphere happening,” M-Arts Creative Director Jill Macfie told The Weekly.

“We had a little meeting and decided to commit to being open on Mondays, it’s a day everyone can be here in their studios. You can come and talk to the artist as they’re working, or buy something.”

“In the lead-up to Christmas it’s a really good idea to be open, and it’s a way to come and check out the space.”

Artist Arna Baartz

The studios are open on other days by appointment with the artist, while the precinct also hosts regular workshops.

And there are more big plans for the arts precinct, which is currently pending council approval for further development.

“At the moment we’re working with what we’ve got,” said Ms Macfie, “but the big vision, should we get permission, is 25 studios with artists who are open and thriving. At the front we’ve also got the gallery, which will open over the summer with exhibitions and artists in residence.”

The precinct has now been open for two Mondays, with momentum expected to gather and attendance to increase as we enter the summer months.

“People can come in and learn that the artists are here, and the artists can talk about what they do and engage the community,” added Ms Macfie.