When a paint group of twenty years decided to get some like-minded people together and form the Forbes Arts Society, they didn’t know what the outcome would look like. It started out as a way to get artists around the area together in one place to share their creative passions and discuss issues that affect the local art world.
A few years ago, art space was very limited in Forbes, and the Forbes Arts Society decided to act. Since securing the empty shop on the corner of Lachlan and Templar Streets as the Platypus Gallery two years ago, this not-for profit group have held many successful exhibitions. Members’ works are exhibited in the Platypus Gallery and from time to time there are exhibitions from visiting artists, particularly during October.
Artists from all over the Central West have exhibited their art in the Platypus Gallery, including towns like Grenfell, Orange, Parkes and of course Forbes, as well as artworks from the Blue Mountains. A wide range of mediums are on display such as oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, drawings, photography, pastel works, basket weaving and woodwork.
The subjects and themes are relatable to country life with landscapes of regional areas, native birds, Forbes inspired pieces and miniatures. “It’s been very successful in the sense that a lot of tourists come through the middle of town and travellers call in to the gallery,” said Klara Ward, Secretary of the Forbes Arts Society. “It’s very important to bring other artists into the area.”
“The Forbes Shire Council have played a big part in helping keep the gallery alive, as well as the generosity of Mrs Kennard who owns the building.” “The gallery brings the community together. They can use it as a hobby, but emerging artists and professional artists can use it too,” said Kathryn Lewis.