The East Pilbara Arts Centre officially opened 29 April 2016, signifying another important milestone in the revitalisation of Newman.
"This is a historic day for our Shire as the opening of the East Pilbara Arts Centre highlights just how far we have come in our aspirations to be a key regional centre in the Pilbara," said Shire President Lynne Craigie.
"It is also a great privilege to be able to celebrate the opening with We Don't Need a Map because this beautiful facility is an amalgamation of the Shire of East Pilbara and the success of Martumili Artists," she added.
The East Pilbara Arts Centre is designed to nurture a sense of ownership amongst the people of the East Pilbara and link the community through events, exhibitions, learning and engage the whole community in active participation . The facility houses Martumili Artists and includes a gallery art storage space , a studio for artist development , a commercial kitchen and separate kitchenette , laundry, pump and camp storage room , office space and a caretakers residence. There is also a large open area that will be available for events and functions.
Funding for the facility was provided by BHP Billiton Iron Ore ($4.4million), the Pilbara Development Commission under the Pilbara Cities Initiative through the State Government's Royalties for Regions Program ($3.5 million), Lotterywest ($600,000) and the Shire of East Pilbara ($800,000).
Edgar Basto, Asset President Iron Ore, spoke at the opening of the new East Pilbara Arts Centre and highlighted the value BHP Billiton places on its partnerships with Aboriginal people and the opportunity such investments provide in improving Aboriginal outcomes.
"We wish the Martumili artists every success as they settle into their new home at the East Pilbara Arts Centre. We hope the provision of this centre allows them to grow as a group and inspires others to enjoy their creations while learning and understanding more about their culture. This centre will continue to help put Newman on the map as a town known for its creativity , culture and stories" Edgar said.
Pilbara Development Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer said the new arts centre breathed new life into the town, adding to the revitalisation of Newman from a mining town to a vibrant regional centre.
"The innovative project ethically and literally placed Martu people at the centre of the design process. This is a great example of meaningful engagement and locally driven decision making that sets a new standard for community infrastructure investment," Mr Hill said.
"With the completion of the East Pilbara Arts Centre the local community will have access to significant artworks that until now have only been exhibited in large galleries outside of Newman. It will create a stronger sense of East Pilbara identity and nurture cultural expression and creativity," said Carly Day, Martumili Arts and Business Manager.
The new home for Martumili Artists has generated excitement among the artists. "It's good to have a new art centre, to have more space inside and out, for the artists to work and to hang all the canvas on the walls there," said Martumili Artist Judith Samson.
"That's our centre, for us, for anybody, and more people can come along and see what Martu are doing. I'm proud that we can show them.
For all East Pilbara Arts Centre enquiries, or to book an event, contact Shire of East Pilbara, Ebony Jones, Facilities Administration Officer, on 9175 8000 or email FAO@eastpilbara.wa.gov.au
All Martumili Art Gallery enquiries can be directed to Shire of East Pilbara, Manager Martumili, Carly Day on (08) 9175 1571 or email MAO@eastpilbara.wa.gov.au
Martumili Art Gallery Hours
Mon-Fri 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm
The East Pilbara Art Centre is located on Newman Drive, Newman (next to the Shire of East Pilbara Administration Offices).