An exciting project is being planned by the Potters Group to mark the 20th anniversary of our centre next year.
to follow its progress!
Welcome to the website of the Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre. The aim of our centre is firstly to provide a showcase for local art and craft. Amongst our talented contributors are painters, sculptors, textile artists, woodworkers, writers, musicians, paper artists and food providores. As most of our contributors also man the centre from time to time, you will meet them when you come to visit.
We also provide information for visitors to the area, and it is our staff members' personal extensive knowledge which helps people who come here from all parts of the world to enjoy our special region.
The centre is also a meeting place for community groups.
On the website you'll find out what's happening in the area, from our calendar and from our "What's on" page. There'll also be reports on recent events.
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Ben Guha is an artist - a woodturner who is well-known for his delicate and lace-like vessels. Ben works exclusively with jacaranda timber, as it is suitable for turning very finely. After turning the shape, Ben works on it with a dentist's drill to create the lace-like effect. He then uses a variety of methods to decorate the item: airbrushing, pyrography, painting and sometimes gilding.
Ben is a great defender of animals, and he expresses this love through the fine paintings of birds and other creatures on his items.
He also makes jewellery boxes with fine inlays, and has recently used precious stones in the inlays. Gold leaf is also used. It's not unusual for Ben to spend 40 hours on a single work.
Ben has had a most interesting life He was born in Jamshedpur (Tata Nagar), India, and studied engineering at the University of Calcutta. He met his wife while working in Germany. Much of his working life was in the United States, where he worked for Telco.
Now 80, Ben lives and works at Waterford, where he creates his unique works.
Our Lyrebird Gallery features Ben's work, which is highly sought after. Come along and be impressed!
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A World Apart
A World Apart 2015 was a huge success for the tourism operators in the Mt Barney Valley! It was held on May 23 and 24. (see www.scenicrimescapes.com.au/mt-barney)
This year four operators took part in what is a unique destination marketing initiative - Classi di Cuciana Italiana, Barney Creek Vineyard, Mt Barney Lodge and the new Scenic Rim Hampers(located at TriplePeaks). The aim is to draw new visitors to the region for a free event for a day or for the weekend to showcase the diversity of tourism choice in the Mt Barney Valley.
The success of the event was due to a few factors: fabulous May weather, many past visitors returning again and bringing friends with them, and clever marketing of the event with a limited budget.
This year the operators erected old fashioned wooden signposts to brand the event, but also to catch passing traffic. This same theme was on posters that were displayed throughout the Scenic Rim, and also invitation style "passports" were distributed to local cafes, libraries, and dropped into selected letterboxes. This community event was also picked up by most Scenic Rim newspapers, and in the final week before the event, the event piggybacked on the news that Innes Larkin, of Mt Barney Lodge, had returned safely from Nepal. This led to extensive coverage in the Beaudesert Times, as well as an invitation to speak on ABC Radio in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The result of A World Apart was that over 1000 people visited the region to enjoy the tastings, meet the local operators and will consider the region for future visits. The visitor numbers were up several hundred from the 2013 event which was the biggest until now. The event also demonstrated the effect of sustainable tourism as the event is now in its eighth year, with new operators being welcomed.
A World Apart also contributes to a local living economy, as there were many weekend visitors who spilled over to nearby campgrounds and accommodation venues as the participating locations were at full capacity. In addition, when the local businesses in the nearby town of Rathdowney were surveyed, they all responded that business was up by 15% over that weekend.
It is no surprise that plans are already underway for 2016!!
Scenic Rim Hampers displayed a large selection of local produce at Triple Peaks, so named because it has views of Mts Barney, Maroon and Lindesay. Two young musicians provided relaxing music, and visitors sat under the trees to enjoy the food, music and views, and the alpacas. Emma and Allan recently bought Triple Peaks, and former owner Sheila visited for the weekend.
Classi di Cucina Italiana, in Douglas Road, Rathdowney, offered free sorbets in delicious flavours such as lychee and coconut. Also popular were Pietro's pizzas and Desley's famous minestrone.
Mt Barney Lodge offered bush tucker, and wonderful free melting moments. Innes was asked about his experiences during the earthquakes in Nepal.
Jenny, Barry and Tamara offered free wine tasting and nibbles at Barney Creek Vineyard, and Jeni's wonderful paintings were exhibited at Triple Peaks. Jeni has another exhibition at Tamborine Mountain in October.
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Arts in the Olives
It was perfect May weather for the Arts in the Olives annual festival on Mothers' Day. What a wonderful venue - vistors walk through the lush olive grove and browse through the many art and craft and food stalls, and can have a look at what people are doing in the workshops. The Albert River runs through the property, and you can cross the river on the purpose-built bridge to visit yet more workshops and the popular pzza hut.
There was plenty of entertainment. Among the singers was Kelly Llewellyn, a well-known local country singer. She was accompanied in some songs by her 3-year-old daughter. A-choired Taste is a lively local choir; they entertained us in various places during the day. Many of the songs they sang reflected the ANZAC theme.
We were spoiled for choice with food. Amongst the many providers were the Wild Lime Cooking School with its various tasty curries and Cucina Italiana with its pizzas, soups and gelato.
There was a workshop for everyone this year, from backsmithing to lino printing to painting to flute-making. The cost is reasonable and everyone who takes part goes home with something to be proud of. A free workshop each time is the drumming workshop, where participants learn different rhythms and play in 3-part harmony. Just observing the workshops is educational and stimulating, but doing a workshop is very satisfying.
It's a great day for kids too, who love to play in the river. There is always a junk musical instrument group for them to try out, and they love the drums!
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Arts Trail Beaudesert
The weekend of May 2 and 3 was Beaudesert town's turn to showcase local talent through studio events. Both the Lyrebird Gallery and the Centre were open to visitors.
On Saturday the Lyrebird Gallery featured demonstrations of spinning and weaving by Nola and Hans Jattke, and painting by Christine Purtle and Rose Duffy. Hans and Nola demonstrated on wheels that Hans made - Hans's was an upright double flyer wheel called a gossip wheel, so named because two people can spin on the wheel at the same time. This is Hans's version of a wheel he saw in a museum in Dresden in the 70s. Nola was spinning on a wheel made by Hans from a maple bedhead which had belonged to her grandmother. It has a little compartment in the frame where the history of the timber is recorded.
Maureen Booth and Joan Smith displayed their lovely quilting. Maureen's vibrant lap rugs, made for disabled people, can be seen below.
On Sunday Nola Spence demonstrated how she sets up her loom to do quite complex patterns. She explained that the setting up is the most challenging part. She doesn't always use yarn; some of her work is made from rag and discarded kimono fabric cut into ribbons. She dyes a lot of her yarn with natural plants (such as wattle) and lichen.
At the Centre over the weekend, visitors were treated to wonderful woodwork demonstrations. Ben Guya, from Ben's Artworks, showed how he turns jacaranda into extremely thin-walled bowls and vessels. He then cuts patterns in the walls with a sophisticated dentist's drill. He decorates the items by airbrushing and painting with traditional brushes. His work is unique and exquisite.
Craig Schuster demonstrated his woodturning technique. His fine and varied work featured boxes and turned bowls of burl, and a large collection of reproductions of planes in wood. Craig's work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
A variety of collections could be viewed at the Centre also on Saturday and Sunday. Tex White showed his belt buckles and a variety of razors, including cut-throats! Ian Skennerton displayed books and wartime memorabilia. He showed videos of military technology, including the manufacture of hand grenades. Many others shared their collections.