A touch of Paris to set up at Dubbo

THE ABSENCE of a commercial gallery at Dubbo has encouraged a collective of artists to create its own version of Paris' Montmartre.

About 12 members of Fresh Arts will set up their easels in the garden of Cafe Elevon at 54 Victoria Street in early April.

They will use them to display a selection of original works in a setting that makes Fresh Arts publicity officer and pop-up art sale co-ordinator Gill Pedrana point to a famous hill.

"With it being outdoors, Montmartre comes to mind," she said.

"Over in Paris a lot of the artists are on the streets painting, and we'll try and create something like that."

Increasingly Fresh Arts has had to be resourceful when looking to show off the work of members.

Each year it stages exhibitions at Lazy River and Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.

The closure of Dubbo’s only commercial art gallery last year is lamented by a sympathetic Fresh Arts.

“Well it does make it difficult, but I understand why it would be very hard to run a commercial gallery,” Mrs Pedrana said. 

“It would be very expensive and you can’t always guarantee that you are going to have sales.”

The publicity officer said the collective was “looking outside the box” in a bid to fill the gap.

Mrs Pedrana said Cafe Elevon was the “perfect place” to begin because of its facilities; food and coffee, outdoor shade and seating, and children’s play area.

Dubbo and district residents who venture into the venue between 10am and 3pm on April 6 can expect discounted rates on art they may or may not have seen in previous shows.

“We’re lowering our prices just to see if we can sell a few,” Mrs Pedrana said.

Fresh Arts was launched in 2004 and currently has about 22 members who are full-time or part-time artists.

“One of our younger members, Stuart Stendell, has just been accepted into the National Art School in Sydney which is an incredible feat,” Mrs Pedrana said.

She said the collective needed regular exhibitions so its members “always have something to work towards”.

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