Talking ArtZ

The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network

The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network (BMCAN), which presently operates as the Blue Mountains Artists Network (BMAN), is a community-based NFP that aims to support a vibrant, sustainable, creative arts community through leadership, member services and collaborative partnerships. It does this through a range of activities such as:

  • Auspicing grants for artists
  • Arts Trails and Open Studios for artists
  • Group exhibitions for members
  • The Talking Art Project
  • The Wild Mountain Collective
  • Collaborative partnerships with other organisations such as MTNS MADE, Blue Mountains Accommodation and Tourism Association and Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber.
  • An annual event, celebrating the Creative Leaders of the Blue Mountains.

Talking Art Podcasts

In the upper mountains we are crafting a program of monthly Talking Art events, based in the Carrington Hotel library, Katoomba on the first Saturday of every month from 4pm. We intend to create a structured approach which will enable us to build an interesting program of conversations with a diverse range of artists, curators and creatives from within our community and further afield and turn those talks into podcasts which will appear here.

Talking Art Podcast Episode 1

The first podcast for the BMCAN* initiative ‘Talking Art’ focusing on ‘Gallery Curation’ by means of a conversation between two professional Blue Mountains Curators, Sabrina Roesner (BMCC** Gallery) and Kelly Heylen (Platform Gallery) was held at the Carrington Hotel on Saturday 6th October. Watch the short promo on YouTube and then listen to the full 1/2 hour via the Soundcloud podcast embedded here.
*Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network
**Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

The Talking Art Project seeks to tap into the resources of artists gathering together to shape and change culture, or just to ‘feed the creative spirit’ when the aloneness gets too much. It will be an incubator for wild ideas and creative collaborations, ideas that confront the significant issues of our time.

Artists often work in isolation, and the aloneness can lead to a kind of self or process-absorbed madness. After artists leave the collegiate world of creative arts education, they have to find within themselves the will to succeed, to find that thing just around the corner that at long last makes what they do make sense.

In the great cities of the world like Paris, Berlin, New York and London, academies and salons provided training and opportunity for artists to exhibit. Similar places are part of the artistic legacy of Australia—Kings Cross and East Sydney in Sydney; Heidelberg and Montsalvat/Eltham in Melbourne and their more recent expressions in the nooks and crannies of inner-city areas in our major cities. The haunts of painters, writers, philosophers, musicians where the exchange of ideas fostered movements and shaped the future of art and culture are part of the treasured heritage of society.

In today’s world of expensive inner city housing, with artists now living on the urban fringes, how do artists find other artists with whom they share values? How do they create opportunities for conversation and building a vision for the future of culture and the arts in their region, in Australia and the wider world?

How also do they network to find the right pigment, or access to a kiln or a life drawing class where models hold their pose for hours instead of minutes?

Guided by the insights of our Creative Leaders, the Talking Art Project will address this challenge. It will facilitate a series of gatherings in both the Upper and Lower Mountains led by leading thinkers and practitioners and local creatives whose work links to the themes that excite us:

Art and well-being – Art and living well in the age of anxiety, trauma and depression

Art and dangerous times – exploring disruptive impacts of technology

Art and culture – beyond the stranglehold of economism.

Shaping the Talking Art Project

The Talking Art Project has begun in September 2018 and if you would like to become involved in shaping the Talking Art Project, join us by contacting:

Wendy Tsai
Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network

What is Talking Art?

Talking Art is about providing events and functions to enable artists to gather both formally and informally to support creative practice across diverse arts modalities in the Blue Mountains. It is a regional social and cultural network, to provide opportunities to empower artists to build and develop their practice with the support of others within their community.

It is envisaged Talking Art will look like:

  • A series of panel discussions with established artists, gallerists, visiting academics, and BMCAN members, including performances by local musicians
  • Artists talks at galleries in the mountains in conjunction with Arts Trails/ Gallery Trails, especially those promoted by BMCAN, BMEE and BMATA
  • Informal gatherings at local cafes – Lower and Upper Mountains
  • Forming links with local Arts groups and societies to provide opportunites for conversation, shared projects, and possible skills education
  • Information/resource exchange
  • Regional, national and international exhibition and event notifications
  • Peer review opportunities
  • Development of a mentoring network
  • Linking up with BMCAN Wild Mountains Collective activities
  • Promoting BMCAN exhibitions and Arts Trails
  • Promoting events of BMEE, Mts. Made, local Business Chambers, TAFE and other small business enterprise training opportunities

Who are the Talking Art people?

We are currently building a team of artists, designers, curators, educators, graduates who are interested in furthering arts conversations and events in the local community. We welcome diversity and courageous thinking. The shape of the events and conversations will be the result of this gathering of creatives. If you believe you have something to contribute to this team, please contact Wendy: wendtsai@gmail.com

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Platinum Sponsors

Mountain Heritage Hotel
Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
Bendigo Bank

Gold Sponsors

Dryridge Estate – Megalong Valley
The Fairmont and Spa, Blue Mountains
The Carrington Hotel
Becsmart Murals by Trish Smart
Mountain Whispers-Luxury Accommodation

Network Partners

United Cinemas – The Edge
Radio Blue Mountains
ARTHouse RBM89.1FM
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
Braemar Gallery
Nolan on Lovel Gallery
The HAZE Magazine
The HAZE Magazine
Gallery One88 Fine Arts
Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise
Blue Mountains Accommodation and Tourism Association
Day Gallery
BradDiedrich.com
Music Hunter
Create NSW
Blue Mountains City Council