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University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery

Home > Sunshine Coast > Galleries | Exhibitions | Art
by JKnick (subscribe)
Freelance writer
Published March 17th 2013
Cultivate the arts
The University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery is located in the heart of the University campus, at the entrance toward its main buildings. It is hard to miss as one walks from the bus exchange in the direction of the USC Library between buildings J and K. It is a pleasant convergence of the academic with the creative, of the sciences with the arts and of the rigour of studies with the candour of creativity.

Gallery front entrance
Photo courtesy of Lou Jaeger, USC Gallery Assistant Curator


What many people may not be aware of is that this art gallery is open to the public, admission-free. Gallery curators and a team of dedicated volunteers run and operate it. They welcome everyone, including school and community groups and access is available for people with disabilities. Disabled parking is also available.

Gallery front
Photo courtesy of Lou Jaeger, USC Gallery Assistant Curator


The gallery displays and hosts an array of exhibitions throughout the academic year. It focuses on contemporary art and design practice. The exhibition program includes photography; painting, drawing and sculpture; illustration; new media, such as, computer-based design; and student exhibitions. Exhibitions also encompass floor talks and educational sessions.

Recent displays were 'Images of Vietnam' and 'Posters from Missouri'. Emeritus Professor Paul Thomas's life-long passion for photography showed in a photo diary of his 2012 travel in Vietnam in 'Images of Vietnam'. The photographs displayed a discernible connection with the people and places and show their beauty and colour. 'Posters from Missouri' showcased student works and creations for the University of Missouri-St. Louis 'Visiting Artist' lecture series. The silkscreen event posters contain mixed-media techniques and classwork in tone, style, visual narrative, and inventive typography.

'Receding Swamps' by Backhaus-Smith
Image courtesy USC Art Gallery


Don't worry if you missed these exhibitions as the exquisite Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Awards (JADA) is being featured from now until April 20. Samples of the best drawings in Australia include the winning work from Brisbane artist, Miles Hall, 'Eyes closed, searching for noon and night.' Sunshine Coast artist, Ian Gunn, is among the artists whose drawings are featured in JADA. Other artists are David Fairburn and Wendy Sharpe. 'True Stories from the Studio' will follow JADA and run until June 1 and will bring together painters, sculptors, ceramic artists, and print-makers, who are also art teachers at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, Tewantin. It will showcase the results of the artists' expansive explorations into their medium of choice and the synergy created out of paint, water colour, clay, ceramics, and other media.

'Pulse' in the wind
Photo courtesy of Lou Jaeger, USC Gallery Assistant Curator


The USC Gallery welcomes exhibition proposals from professional artists or groups of artists. There are broad guidelines to be considered, such as, educational relevance; exhibitions that link with various academic studies; community and cultural relevance; and contemporary art practice. Any proposal must first be discussed with the gallery curator.

Volunteering with the gallery provides curatorial experience and is a fantastic opportunity to meet people with a common interest in art. Some of the benefits of being a gallery volunteer are invitations to exhibition openings and events, the opportunity to meet with visiting artists, morning tea sessions, and volunteer talks. The gallery's mailing list is open to everyone who visits the gallery.

The University of the Sunshine Coast has a contemporary Australian art collection, some of which can be viewed throughout the campus. This collection represents the region's most significant public art collection. It focuses on and emphasises Queensland artists and contains works by Lawrence Daws, Franki Birrell, Alexandra Alderson, Norma Uhlmann, Scott Redford, Robyn Stacey, Katarina Vesterberg, Judy Watson, Elizabeth Duguid, Andrew Dixon, David Parker, Charlie Chambers, Joanne Currie Nalingu, Rex Backhaus-Smith, Hew Chee Fong, and Adam Cullen. John Coburn's work 'Sunshine Coast' is available to buy in limited print edition.

Native admiring 'Obelisk'
Photo courtesy of Lou Jaeger, USC Gallery Assistant Curator


Some of the works that can be viewed throughout the campus are 'Pulse', 'Obelisk', 'High Order', 'Neptune', and the front entrance sculpture. Created by varied and talented Australian artists, the works are constructed out of modern, contemporary and diverse materials, such as bronze, stainless steel, resin rods, stone, and marble. They are an interesting and engaging part of the university campus. They belong and are in harmony with the modern, contemporary buildings and campus design. Juxtaposed with some of the the campus's natural environment's native inhabitants, the kangaroos, they look like alien creations dropped from the sky.
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Why? Great exhibits
When: Monday - Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: (0)7 5459 4645
Where: Sippy Downs, Queensland
Cost: Free
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