Twenty or so years ago I was newly arrived in a new town, my partner was working out bush and I didn't know a soul. I saw an ad in the local newspaper for a life drawing group and summoned up my courage and went along on a Wednesday evening! This is how I discovered DVAA (Darwin Visual Arts Assoc) which became a big part of my life for the next 5 years.
Discovering DVAA meant discovering a community of artists, the chance of a studio, the opportunity to show work in exhibitions and a shared market stall at the local markets. For me it meant a part-time job in the office for a while. I made friends who are still my closest friends 20 years later, and as Darwin has such a transient population, I met lots of people who have traveled on... I met an artist called Anna Curtis who inspired me to try lino-printing again after being hopeless at it at uni. Her many layered reduction prints are technically amazing and so beautiful! I spent wonderful days in the print room, and felt incredibly lucky to have stumbled on these facilities.
Time went on and I got another job, and couldn't commit time to being on the committee, and then had kids and my art practise ground to a halt for a few years. New people arrive and breath new life and energy into the organisation and it goes on from strength to strength. This year DVAA is 30, tonight there is an exhibition opening showing work by artists who have been involved past and present with DVAA, also a photographic exhibition by Fiona Morrison of artists in their studios. On Sunday afternoon there will be an art fair/market, if you're in Darwin I hope you can come along to one of these events and enjoy the celebrations!!
Here are some flags in progress, I'll have these at the art fair on Sunday (17th) and the craft fair at Tactile arts a week later - Sunday 24th.