2022 has been a year of flux and change at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) & Ignite Studios. The year began with unprecedented region-wide flooding, which narrowly and luckily missed the gallery and outdoor kiln room by mere inches. Our team was active in the recovery efforts in the Ballina Shire, and throughout the year hosted three local flood-affected artists in Ignite Studios to develop and make work for exhibition.

In April, our long-term Gallery Coordinator, Lee Mathers, farewelled us to pursue new career opportunities. Her legacy and steady stewardship of the Gallery over the past 8 years has been instrumental in shaping our future growth and evolution - we are so grateful for her vision and lasting inspiration. In May, our first Creative Programs Producer, Ella Millard, joined the team, bringing a wealth of experience in creative events management and the film industry. Her role has already activated a range of events, workshops and programs and continues to consolidate Ignite Studios as an integral part of the broader Gallery precinct.
In June, our new Gallery Coordinator, Imbi Davidson took the helm, quickly learning the ropes and setting course for a vibrant program in 2023 and engaging series of public programs. She brings many years' experience as an arts administrator, educator and researcher, with a grounded visual arts practice and curatorial vision.

Despite this year's challenges, we have continued to deliver a strong exhibition program, exhibiting over 35 artists, installing 23 diverse exhibitions and stocking 54 artist products in our retail outlet. The caliber of work exhibited this year has been outstanding, encompassing a range of local, regional and national artists. Themes of climate change, environment and adaptation were front and centre as well as found and/or sculptural objects as stories of place and encounter. This year we continued to partner with Southern Cross University (SCU) and Byron School of Art (BSA) to host two Graduate Award exhibitions - this year's recipients were Max Taylor (SCU) and Jenny Gill-Schirmer (BSA). Completing the year, we hosted the third annual Byron Arts Magazine (BAM) Art Prize Finalist Exhibition.

We are indebted to our Gallery Volunteers and their continued support and dedication. We hope to welcome many new and returning visitors to the Gallery in 2023 and are excited to announce some inspiring events, opportunities and new initiatives throughout the year. We are grateful to Ballina Shire Council’s ongoing support for NRCG & Ignite Studios and our goal is to focus on our strategic directions into 2023 and beyond.

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