Stockland and TAFE Students Partner on Forster's POP Gallery

Despite the threatened closure of their TAFE course, Fine Arts students from NSW's Great Lakes TAFE have set up a temporary gallery in an ex-gym to showcase student work at Stockland Forster during November 2012.

Nyaree Donnelly art workUntil 30 November, POP Gallery will exhibit and sell art works from Certificate IV, Diploma Advanced Diploma and Indigenous Design students of Great Lakes TAFE Art and Design School. Crafts, cards and jewellery will also be for sale.

The gallery was organised by local TAFE Advance Diploma students Nyaree Donnelly, Graeme Macey and Faye Collier.

Exhibition curator Graeme Macey said,“Our class talked about our future prospects as practising artists in the Great Lakes region, where there’s no commercial or town gallery.

"We wanted to hold a quality commercial, professional standard exhibition, at the same time introducing the option of using empty spaces for art. But first we had to initiate our own gallery. So we have.”

The students approached property group Stockland to provide gallery space in a former shopping centre gym. 

Graeme Macey said, "There has been a bit of internal energy within Stockland created for empty spaces. We have also got some great support from local businesses that seems to be increasing day by day."

As well as Stockland, local businesses supporting the project include KMart, Bunnings, All Things Yum, The Mobile Framer, The Copy Centre, and the Great Lakes Tourist Information Centre. Five percent of Pop Gallery sales and two new, children's bikes will be donated to the Salvation Army's Wishing Tree. 

"The sad part," said Graeme Macey,"is after all this energy to develop the project that, with the state government education cuts, at this point it looks as if Great Lakes TAFE Fine Arts School will no longer exist as of the first of January 2014."

"We'll not only lose a mature fine arts school, the staff and the networks, but one of the best equipped print workshops in regional NSW."

With the news of the threatened TAFE closure, the organisers decided to go ahead with the gallery, seeing it as an opportunity to promote the importance of the Great Lakes TAFE program.

Graeme Macey says, "POP Gallery is also a professional practice opportunity for the students and chance to raise the profile of our local visual arts and artists to a wider audience in the Forster Tuncurry area."

POP GALLERY 2012 on Facebook. Contact:


POP Gallery
35 Keith Crescent Stockland Forster
Smiths Lake, NSW 2428
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