Artspace’s collection goes digital

Published: 30 Apr 2021

Residents can now curate their own digital art exhibition from more than 620 works with the click of a mouse.

The works, about half of the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection, have been made available through the Artspace Mackay online collection database and this will continue to be added to.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the new online database enabled access to council’s art collection like never before.

“It enables anyone and everyone to search the collection and play curator,” Mayor Williamson said.

“You can explore the collection by colour, object type and/or artist, then create shortlists and email them to yourself and friends,” he said.

“The database also invites users to explore our featured collections. These include artists’ books, prints, ceramics and paintings along with curated collection highlights such as contemporary Australian Indigenous artworks and past winners of The Libris Awards.”

The online collection can be found here.

Mayor Williamson said the development of an online database for the art collection had been a long-standing business priority for council.

“The council art collection provides the basis for displays, exhibitions, research and educational programs that serve to culturally enrich our community,” he said.

“We hope that providing access to the collection serves to promote appreciation for its significance within the community and beyond.

“We hope it will also encourage further donations and encourage scholarly research that facilitates new insights and discoveries.”

Artspace Mackay director Tracey Heathwood said council’s art collection was started in the late 1980s by the Mackay City Library and had since grown to more than 1200 works of art.

“We have one of the biggest holdings of artists’ books outside the capital cities,” Ms Heathwood said.

She said other highlights of the collection included prints from the Lockhart River Art Gang of North Queensland, contemporary Indigenous artworks, ceramics and a significant holding of Lyre Bird Press publications.