Benalla Ensign

NEA needs our help

- By Simon Ruppert

After being part of the Benalla community for more than six years North East Artisans needs your help.

Nearly a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictio­ns have left the art collective with limited income and no way to pay bills — which keep on coming.

NEA is part of the reason Benalla is the street-art capital of regional Australia, with its members taking part in events like Wall to Wall and Window to Window; as well as having works on the Silo art trail.

It holds regular workshops for amateurs and profession­als alike, and has a shopfront offering handmade items.

Its passionate artists have no desire to see it disappear and have come up with a fundraiser to to get it past the effects of the pandemic and ensure its ongoing viability.

Long-time member DeSales Turner said From October 15 to December 17 NEA was hosting Up Your Arts, a novel exhibition­come raffle, which could see people walk away with some amazing local art for the price of a cup of coffee.

“The exhibition features works of art made by local artisans who exhibit at NEA,” Ms Turner said.

“It will be supported through generous donations of goods from local Benalla merchants. The items on display during this exhibition are not for sale. However, they will all be won by some very lucky people.”

When you attend the exhibition at 28b and 28c Carrier St you can buy a page of raffle tickets for $5.

While you cannot buy less than one page, there is no upward limit and you can buy 100 pages if you like.

You then take your raffle tickets and distribute them into a box, which is next to each exhibited item.

“You can put them all in one box, or you can spread them around. It is up to you,” Ms Turner said.

“There is no admission fee, so come and see what we have to offer.

“Maybe you’ll be a lucky prize winner. Maybe you'll win more than one.”

While you are visiting NEA Ms Turner said you might also want to stop for a quick snack in its newly opened tea room.

“We did consider opening a coffee shop,” she said.

“But there are already lots of coffee shops in Benalla. What the Rose City did not have is a tea room.

“So that is what we have opened and we look forward to seeing the public pop in for a quick snack and a sit down before or after they have a look in our gallery spaces.”

NEA moved into its new premises on Carrier St in November 2020 and have since been in the process of opening up its garden and galleries.

“When we were in the main street we got a lot of passing traffic,” Ms Turner said.

“We have not had as much in Carrier St and people have even asked if we closed down.

“So we are keen for people to know where we are, and hope having the tea room will help get people here.

“And we hope lots of people buy a page of raffle tickets, as the money we raise from that could make all he difference to our survival.”

Prizes will be drawn on December 17 and the winner notified using the details they provide when they purchased a page of tickets. NEA is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

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 ?? Visit us: ?? North East Artisans is asking Benalla to support its Up Your Arts exhibition and visit its galleries and tea-room.
Visit us: North East Artisans is asking Benalla to support its Up Your Arts exhibition and visit its galleries and tea-room.

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