New directory marks southern Wheatbelt’s place on arts map

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Email Kellie Balaam
The guide contains more than 120 individual artists and creatives.Picture: Supplied
Camera IconThe guide contains more than 120 individual artists and creatives.Picture: Supplied

Art was the focus on Saturday as about 60 people gathered at the Narrogin Reception Centre to celebrate the launch of the Southern Wheatbelt Art Directory.

The directory was launched by Labor MP for the Agricultural Region Darren West, who delivered a speech highlighting the importance of the arts in the regions, not only for the prosperity of local communities, but also for mental health.

The guide contains more than 120 individual artists and creatives, alongside some 50 community groups and organisations within the 15 shires of WA’s southern Wheatbelt.

It highlights talent, skills and services, providing a resource for anyone contemplating an art project or wanting to get in touch with artists.

Arts Narrogin chairwoman Dianne Strahan, event MC Rosemary Archer and Labor member for the Agricultural Region Darren West.Picture: Supplied
Camera IconArts Narrogin chairwoman Dianne Strahan, event MC Rosemary Archer and Labor member for the Agricultural Region Darren West.Picture: Supplied

The directory is Arts Narrogin’s response to being selected by Country Arts WA to participate in the Regional Arts Hub pilot program, which aims to support individual regions to move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach and identify their own way of celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of the arts sector.

It has taken about three years to complete the directory, during which time many connections have been made and talents unearthed.

Regional arts hub co-ordinator Catherine Thornton said it was a pleasure to meet so many inspiring people.

“Whether you are an individual, business owner, community group organiser, local government representative or tourism operator, we hope you will use the directory to find the artist or group that meets your needs,” she said.

Shire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard, Arts Narrogin hub co-ordinator Catherine Thornton and manager Caitlin Stewart.
Camera IconShire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard, Arts Narrogin hub co-ordinator Catherine Thornton and manager Caitlin Stewart. Credit: Picture: Supplied

Arts Narrogin chairwoman Dianne Strahan said the arts were essential for the wellbeing of the community.

“Getting involved with your local theatre or art and crafts group is a wonderful way of meeting people as well as giving you an outlet for your creativity,” she said.

“I hope the directory will become the go-to book that can help make that happen.”

Visit Narrogin’s ARTSPACE to pick up a copy of the directory.

Copies can also be found in Shire offices, community resource centres, arts organisations and online at artsnarrogin.com.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails