UMI Arts New Vehicle takes artist workshops on the road  

[by Pip Miller]

UMI Arts has a new vehicle that will enable hosting a series of artist workshops in communities across the Far North region – From Left: UMI Arts Executive Officer Peter Lenoy and Retail Officer, Thelma Savage Image: supplied

After taking delivery of a new set of wheels this month UMI Arts announced it will drive a series of exciting, community-based initiatives for independent First Nations artists.

UMI Arts Executive Officer Peter Lenoy acknowledged the Australia Council for the Arts which has made the vehicle acquisition possible and in so doing, enable their team to undertake recovery-led workshops within the artists’ community.

Mr Lenoy said UMI Arts is responding to the challenges confronted by regional and remote communities and specifically, the Indigenous art sector, during COVID-19.

“What the new vehicle means is that we can travel to communities and conduct workshops aimed at rebuilding artist capacity and confidence.

“Cairns is the centre point for the region with other neighbouring townships and communities such as Mossman, Mareeba, Atherton, Kuranda, and Yarrabah, being within an hour’s drive and therefore, often inaccessible to artists,” Mr Lenoy said.

In coming months, UMI Arts will deliver “You want to be an Artist” workshops as an intensive but informative introduction to groups of emerging and intermediate artists while its ‘Outreach’ programs are designed to provide information and hands-on training.

UMI Arts will focus on engaging with its new crop of green shoots artists with the aim of developing this particular cohort group into the next era of exhibiting artists. 

According to Mr Lenoy there is constant and specific need to operate workshops of this nature in the region.

“These workshops are critical to artists’ development and cover a broad range of areas from becoming acquainted with industry to curatorial skills, product development marketing and grant writing,” he said.

UMI Arts is the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland. Membership based, UMI Arts’ members are Queensland’s First Peoples with a traditional blood-line connection to the region.

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