Art Centre set for a new era
THE Yalanji Art Centre in Mossman Gorge has undergone a major refurbishment that will provide a more comfortable and efficient workspace for Yalanji artists.
While continuing with the production of fine art, the new business model for the Centre will also focus on the high end tourism sector through the production of quality art products.
The Art Centre Manager, Yalanji woman Ms Cheryl Burchill, said despite an international decline in indigenous art sales over the past few years the art centre will thrive with the support of the Mossman Gorge Centre.
“The standard sales approach of indigenous art centres across the country is to focus on sales through capital city art galleries and major art festivals as they provide access to large markets,” she said.
“However recent changes to superannuation rules and a national oversupply of indigenous artwork has seen reduced profits and income for artists.
“We are in the fortunate position in this region where we have over 2.2 million visitors each year who spend around $1 billion – we don’t have to go to the market, the market comes to us.”
Mossman Gorge Centre general manager Ben Pratt said the relationship between the Yalanji Art Centre and the Mossman Gorge Centre is beneficial for both parties.
“Each year 300,000 people visit the Gorge through the Centre and many – especially those 50,000 people who participate in the Dreamtime tours – express a desire to purchase a reminder of their visit or a present for friends and relatives,” he said.
“We find it difficult to source authentic and ethically produced product and look forward to working with the Yalanji Art centre to provide locally crafted product.”
The Centre is a long standing institution that has a national and international reputation.
The Queensland Government contributed $200,000 from the Cape York Welfare Program to the Yalanji Art Centre Refurbishment project.
The Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet committed $111,000 to jointly fund the project. The work was overseen by the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
Federal MP Warren Entsch opened the centre and officially cut the ribbon with the help of two infants.
“These kids are the next generation, these are the ones who will learn their traditions and their culture inside this centre and will be passing it on to the next generation,” he said. “That’s the future.”
Cutting the ribbon