This year has seen a continued trajectory of growth, development, and capacity of the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) as a vibrant, supportive, and engaged arts and cultural organisation. Our team has delivered an artistic program of excellence, supporting over 300 artists, delivering 62 exhibitions and public programs, producing the Ballina Contemporary Art Market, and assisting with the management of public art projects in the Ballina CBD, Lennox Head Public Art Boxes and Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport. With our visitation, both physical and online increasing 56% from last year, we are creating a vibrant and buzzing arts and cultural hub for Ballina and beyond.


Exhibition highlights for 2023 include a suite of high calibre exhibitions, featuring local and national artists, covering a range of themes from landscape and environment to politics, cultural memory, materiality, water, and nature. Notable exhibitions include reversible destiny by Marian Tubbs and accompanying artist talk and sonic performance with ABC Radio National presenter Daniel Browning and Sydney-based sound artist Laura Hunt. Mia Forrest’s BLOOM gave us an insight into the world of NFT art and Katie Alleva’s powerful Tracing Threads explored her family’s migration from Italy to Australia and toured to the National Print Council Gallery in Canberra. We also presented two graduate exhibitions, this year’s recipients were Jemima Patch Taylor (Southern Cross University) and Todd Clare (Byron School of Art). Completing the year, we hosted the fourth Byron Arts Magazine (BAM) Art Prize Finalist Exhibition.


The capacity building of Ignite Studios continues, with a 45% increase in program participation, delivery of 35 public programs including workshops, artist talks, events and hires of workshop spaces. This year saw us host studio and visiting artists, development of the ceramics studio and kiln firing facility and deliver two funded programs, the Commemorative Flood Recovery Project (CFRP) and Ballina Contemporary Art Market (BCAM). NRCG was awarded a Highly Commended Museums & Galleries NSW Imagine Award for the CFRP and BCAM was a huge success with over 100 participating artists, thousands of attendees, and activation of the entire precinct for this wonderful community event.


We are grateful to our community of artists, gallery patrons, workshop attendees and participants who have attended gallery exhibition and events throughout 2023. We also have a dedicated group of gallery volunteers, whose time and energy in working in the gallery is invaluable to our everyday operations – we sincerely couldn’t do it without you all! Thanks, must also go to our 2023 project partners and sponsors, we have been blessed to work with so many wonderful arts organisations this year.

The gallery team is looking forward to a bright, creative, and inspiring 2024.


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