Cr Judy Peters and Dr Anita Holtsclaw.
Cr Judy Peters and Dr Anita Holtsclaw. Adam Wratten

Bundy's new art gallery boss shares vision for future

AS AN artist and arts worker Dr Anita Holtsclaw has exhibited internationally, coordinated programs for the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, co-directed two community-based art collectives and spent more than 10 years working in arts education.

Now her next big project will be as curator for Bundaberg Regional Galleries.

The role is responsible for artistic leadership of the two council-run galleries in Bundaberg and Childers.

Bundaberg born and raised, Dr Holtsclaw said she was excited to get to work and deliver community-driven programming.

"I have always had a strong connection with community arts and look forward to making a meaningful contribution to my home region,” Dr Holtsclaw said.

"I'm excited by the opportunity these galleries present from the council for the community and am passionate about creating a space for every member of the region to enjoy.”

Her vision for the gallery includes offering on-site and accessible workshops, highlighting the artwork of the region's traditional owners, developing the collection and incorporating programming for all age groups.

In addition to being an international artist, Dr Holtsclaw has a wealth of experience in the arts industry.

Her previous experience includes managing exhibition and event programs for community arts organisations, lecturing in Visual Art and Design at Queensland University of Technology and supporting public programs at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.

Her work has been exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art, the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and Metro Arts in Brisbane, The Canberra Contemporary Art Space and galleries in Melbourne.

Stating that the Bundaberg region has been the inspiration for much of her artwork, when she isn't working Dr Holtsclaw will be spending her time learning about and enjoying the coastal landcape of the region.

"My art practice has always engaged with elements of the natural landscape. I want to spend more time here to explore this region's unique landscape and better understand the traditional knowledge of the land.”

Taking a position in Bundaberg now means that Dr Holtsclaw can commit more of her own time to following this passion and also offers her an opportunity to give back to and re-engage with her hometown.

"Growing up in Bundaberg I was very fortunate to have an amazing contemporary art teacher who engaged me with the possibilities of what art could be and ultimately led me to deciding to undertake a career in the visual arts. I'm really looking forward to giving back to the regional community here.”

Artists and interested community members are invited to a meet and greet with Dr Holtsclaw on Wednesday at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery at 5.30pm.

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