Micro Galleries: Changing the World…in small and creative ways

From May 8th the streets and laneways of Nowra’s CBD will come to life with Shoalhaven locals being joined by national and overseas artists as part of the international art project Micro Galleries: Changing the World…in small and creative ways.

Micro Galleries is an international art project with the goal of bringing art, in many forms, into the community to demonstrate that art is for everyone and does not have to only be presented in galleries and theatres, but can break out of these spaces and ingrain itself into a community. Most importantly Micro Galleries hopes to show that a community can have ownership and involvement in the creation and appreciation of art work and that art can change how people perceive social issues or their environment in a positive way – even if it simply changes someone’s day for the better.

Nowra is the first Australian city to host Micro Galleries, having recently appeared in the township of Langa, Cape Town, and Tai Hang and Wan Chai in Hong Kong. Artistic Director and champion of Micro Galleries is Kat Roma Greer, who grew up in the Illawarra and spent a lot of time in the Shoalhaven, including most recently as an Artist in Residence at Bundanon Trust. Kat explained how Nowra was selected as the first Australian location.

“During my residency with Bundanon Trust I spent some time in Nowra and was blown away; not only by the amazing art community that works across the Shoalhaven, but also by the beautiful buildings, cool little laneways and the cafes and shops in and around the Nowra CBD, as well as initiatives such as Nowra Alive kicking off. I just felt Nowra was the perfect fit for Australia’s first Micro Galleries – a seemingly unassuming town with loads to offer’.

The roll call of local Shoalhaven artists sits at 20 who were selected after submitting an expression of interest to the Micro Galleries crew in October last year. There are also 15 international and national artists, including US based photographer Chuck Scalin, Finish street provocateur Elissa Erikkson and cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani, an exiled Iranian in Paris.

Two local artists, Bonnie Greene and Suzi Krawczyk have already stepped onto Micro Galleries’ international stage, having their artwork featured in Cape Town, and after Nowra Kat hopes to take more local artists’ work with her to the next installation in Denpasar, Indonesia.

‘Micro Galleries works hard to build lasting relationships with the local artists, and over time this approach has created a strong core group of artists that provide their work to each incarnation of Micro Galleries. We’d love to have some Shoalhaven artists come along with us for the ride to give them international exposure.’

The event will kick off with a huge opening weekend (8-10 May) with activities ranging from projection installations, an interactive pop-up arts space, seven free walking tours led by performance artists, live micro performance installations and a series of workshops. It’s all free, so head online now to www. http://microgalleries.org/events/nowra-australia-baby/ to find out more or sign up for one of tours, find out more about the artists, or just grab a map and meander through town.

The opening night event will be attended by Shoalhaven Mayor Councillor Joanna Gash and Member for Gilmore, Mrs Ann Sudmalis, MP.

This project is supported by Regional Arts NSW. The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional and remote Australia.

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