A major upgrade is set to provide new opportunities for artists and tourism in the Northern Territory, as part of the Northern Territory Government’s $30 million Arts Trail Regional Gallery Extension Program.
Mimi Aboriginal Art and Craft will undergo a significant upgrade, enhancing the gallery, artists’ studio and retail spaces after a business case was undertaken to underpin the investment. Upgrades will also improve office and storage facilities for valuable art works and artefacts and to improve the energy efficiency of the building.
The Arts Trail Regional Gallery Extension Program will also include significant upgrades to Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre in Katherine.
Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson said the investment into a nationally significant arts trail throughout the territory will help support and grow the regional arts and cultural sector, meaning more jobs for locals and greater opportunities for Aboriginal artists.
“I look forward to seeing the upgrades at Mimi Aboriginal Art and Craft which will improve the gallery, enhance the studio space for artists and ultimately, the experience for our visitors,” Nelson said.
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The Northern Territory Government aims to enhance its unique arts and cultural offerings, which are a major attraction for tourism, end encourage more visitors to purchase Aboriginal art and understand the experience and depth of the culture in the region.
Acting Tourism, Sport and Culture Minister Eva Lawler said the capital funding for Mimi Aboriginal Art and Craft is part of the Territory Government’s election commitment to build a nationally significant arts trail to position the territory as a global destination for Aboriginal art and culture.
“With more than 100 community art galleries, museums and keeping places in the Territory, our rich art and culture is a major drawcard for national and international tourists and a key economic driver,” she said.
“Capital investment in these cultural facilities will enhance visitor offerings and support local artists, jobs and businesses.”
Mimi Ngarrdalingi Aboriginal Corporation Board Co-Chairpersons Miliwanga Wurrben and Christine Butler said the centre represents artists from the entire Katherine region, spanning from the Tanami Desert in to the people of Arnhem Land.
“Mimi’s artwork is as diverse as the lands it represents; styles include polymer paint on canvas, bark painting, fibre weaving, jewellery, didgeridoos, limited edition prints, carving and weaponry,” they said.
“As a 100% Aboriginal owned and not-for-profit art centre, more than 50 per cent of sales are returned to artists and remaining proceeds go towards running the art centre and providing customers with an ethical way to purchase Aboriginal artwork.
“We offer artists the opportunity to maintain their Aboriginal culture through traditional and contemporary artistic expression while providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy watching artists painting and creating works at the centre.”