If you are looking for a calming break from the busy festive season, the sweltering heat or the hustle and bustle of the beach then right now at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, there are two fabulous exhibitions for your enjoyment, and it has lovely air-con and it's totally free.
Although being just five minutes from Surfers Paradise, the Arts Centre culture hub feels a million miles away from the bright lights of its manic neighbour.
Now the exhibition space isn't huge so you won't need to set aside a few hours, you really could do both galleries in 30 minutes. However, being a lover of art, theatre and culture, I think it's important to make time, even if it isn't for long, especially as art and culture is hard to find on the Coast.
You can of course make a morning or afternoon of it and have breakfast or lunch or coffee in the arts cafe (great food, reasonably priced) or swim in the lake out the back in Evandale Park. If you don't fancy a dip then you can have a picnic or BBQ, or even stroll around the lake where you can exercise on the free machines and view the many art works in the sculpture walk. Now where else could you get that?
Gold Coast Art Prize 2014
From 6 December 2014 to 8 February 2015 Gallery 1
With over 300 entries this year, the judges had their work cut out to narrow down to 44 Australian artists. There are some excellent pieces showing some key trends in contemporary art including urban life, landscape and environment and digital technologies and globalism. I deliberately didn't take a photo of the winner as you really should find out for yourself, do you think the right one won?
This is a competition that has been running since 1968 and is continuously evolving and discovering great Aussie talent. More info.
Cool, Calm and Collected: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection From 13 December 2014 to 26 January 2015 Gallery 2
A wonderful collection made up of key artworks that show the breadth, depth and diversity of the gallery collection, which has grown significantly over the last few year. The collection is made up of generous donations, purchases and competition winners and includes large landscapes, abstract works and works inspired by the local area and history. One of the star pieces is Alexander McKenzies's haunting portrait of Toni Collette. More info.
Located on Bundall Road, just behind Surfers Paradise and minutes from Chevron Island, Isle of Capri and The Gold Coast Turf Club, it is certainly worth a visit if you have the time. For more information click here.