Connect with a welcoming group
Create original artwork
Collaborate and learn new skills
You are invited to join the Fun and Games at The Stables Feb 24, 2019. Funded by a Bellingen Shire Council Placemaking grant, this enjoyable and free day out takes place in the closed-for-the day Telstra Carpark around The Stables, 6A Church St.
The Stables was built behind the Bellingen Police Station over 100 years ago for local mounted constables. In 2016 the Mixed Up Arts volunteers Maureen Eley-Round, and Julie Hutchinson imagined an art room in the small brick storage shed. They began writing grant applications and seeking guidance from Council’s Heritage Advisor. In 2017 grants were awarded. Rob Simpson, and Philip Senior joined the volunteer team. Together the four BCAC members voluntarily wrote the DA application and sought further grants. They project-managed the renovations, created publicity and did some of the hands on work “at the coal face” during 2018 into this year. Recently a larger group of much appreciated BCAC members sanded, prepared and painted walls and woodwork. The Stables is no longer a crumbling brick shed.
At first look the attractive built-to-measure wood doors announce something new has happened. The old George Moore built outbuilding has been carefully transformed into a unique art workshop and community space. It has been sensitively adapted with it’s history in mind. Generous major funding from Environment NSW Heritage Near Me is responsible for the bulk of the costs including repair to as much of the degraded outdoor bricks as possible. The Stables is probably the only circa 1910 cement brick art and community building in Australia. Bellingen Shire Council has supported the value of The Stables in many ways. Most obviously to onlookers is a completely new heritage look guttering and a storm water system to keep the bricks from eroding from roof rain.
The inside ceilings are insulated and a high efficiency reverse cycle air conditioner will keep the main room at a comfortable temperature. Upgraded electrics include racks of art illuminating spotlights, pendants over work areas and an increase in the number of power points.
High ceilings, a large ramped entrance and an art hanging systems await artists who are in need of an alternative exhibition space to those that currently exist in the Shire. Workshops and meetings will also be accommodated for an affordable contribution to the Stables Maintenance fund.
The cement floors were ground down to the pebbles, moisture sealed and then a beautiful easy clean matte finish was applied courtesy of a donation by the BCAC. These floors tell the story of how the first straw on dirt floors were filled in with cement for police car parking. The one remaining oil stain speaks to the age and condition of the floors only a few months ago.
The Stables is in the Sustainability Centre precinct managed by the Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance of which BCAC is a member. A fellow member group CELS contributed to some of the initial DA costs which were essential for starting the project. The BSLA groups including BCAC member Mixed Up Arts will share the adjacent storage and clean up room. Morning tea won’t be forgotten with the newly upgraded electrics, a fridge, bench top and large sink.
The saying , “A picture is worth a thousand words” is attributed to Shakespeare. It certainly applies to the Stables. Your invitation to Fun and Games is your opportunity to envision the potential.
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