About

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Strathnairn Arts is a not-for-profit arts association supported by the ACT Government that provides working spaces and facilities for a range of artists and crafts people and community groups.

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Strathnairn Arts is on the north-western rural outskirts of Canberra. Located 900 metres past the Magpies Belconnen Golf Club turnoff, it is a facility which has been used by artists for decades but remains one of Canberra’s best-kept secrets.

The property was originally part of a land grant awarded to 19th century explorer Charles Sturt. In the early twentieth century it became a mixed working farm until the lease was resumed in 1974. In the 1979 it was allocated to the arts group Blue Folk with Dominic Mico as Director, who produced community arts programs for children and adults.

The organisation became the Brindabella Arts Community in 1984 and struggled. Alan Watt, then the head of the Ceramics workshop and ANU School of Art was approached to set up studios on the property with the idea of providing opportunities for the best young artists to remain in Canberra. Almost 20 years ago Michael Sainsbury (resident Manager/Caretaker) set about cleaning up and restoring the buildings and developing the kilns, ultimately offering a diverse range of firing options to potters.

Strathnairn Arts has grown into a strong community of artists working in diverse mediums. Painters, sculptors, potters, textile artists, printmakers, wood workers and installation artists have been very fortunate to have this unique rural setting as their base.

The Strathnairn Homestead Gallery features regular exhibitions of woodwork, photography, sculpture, glass, textiles, ceramics and mixed media. Adjacent to the gallery is a small shop which displays and sells a range of works each weekend.

Strathnairn Homestead Café serves a selection of light lunches and delicious homemade cakes. Wood fired pizza is also available every Sunday (weather permitting). Please call 0448 259 901 to make a booking.

In the last few years Strathnairn has developed an exciting Artist in Residence program, which continues to enhance the artistic working environment at Strathnairn and to encourage greater involvement of members and the public through workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations and other activities.

Each October to November, the Strathnairn Arts Association holds its Annual Members Exhibition in the gallery, showcasing the work of members. A full program of exhibitions runs throughout the year.

Strathnairn Arts Vision Statement

Vision

To cultivate contemporary visual art for local, national and international audiences in a sustainable creative precinct.

Objectives

  1. To provide studio spaces and facilities to support the arts practice of established and emerging artists in Canberra.
  2. To provide an art gallery and outdoor sculpture space for exhibition to the public, and a retail outlet for Strathnairn Arts members.
  3. To present an Artist in Residence program to expand and enrich the arts practice and knowledge of Strathnairn Arts members and the community.
  4. To provide and encourage public access and education in the arts through the gallery and through workshops, demonstrations, seminars and conferences.
  5. To maintain and develop the historic rural Strathnairn property, and promote sustainable and safe practices.

Strategic Aims to 2020

Fostering Artists To empower emerging and established visual artists in the professional development of their arts practice. 
Arts Program  To present a consistently excellent and diverse program of exhibitions, events and activities for all our different audiences that can be sustainably resourced. 
Community Engagement
in the Arts
To develop and promote an active and diverse community-access arts facility to broaden our community engagement and audiences locally, in Canberra, nationally and worldwide, and to promote Strathnairn Arts as a destination for cultural tourists. 
Creative Precinct To preserve the historic facilities and develop the natural environment to create an accessible and welcoming place for creative work. 
A Sustainable Organisation To be a diverse, professional, entrepreneurial and outwardly facing organisation, supporting the interests of our members and being an employer of choice, to attract and retain the best and most talented people for our organisation.