Champion of the arts

“THE arts are a place for people to express themselves and connect with other people.”

That is the view of Mary Sullivan, the newly appointed arts development officer of South Gippsland Shire Council.

“In rural communities, there is an enormous emphasis on sport and sport plays a role in bringing people together and feeling connected, but not everyone feels connected to sport, so it’s great to provide this avenue for people in the arts as an alternative space for them to connect with,” she said.

“A creative community is a strong community, and there are great potential economic benefits to developing a strong arts culture in South Gippsland.”

The Inverloch woman was appointed to implement council’s Arts, Culture and Creative Industry Strategy 2017-2021.

“People are so excited to have an advocate for arts in the community,” she resident said, promising to work with communities to further enhance the region’s artistic activities.

Ms Sullivan’s initial days have involved working with arts groups to determine what their ambitions are and to familiarize herself with what she has deemed as South Gippsland’s already “thriving arts community”.

“It’s amazing how much is already going on,” she said.

Her early projects include expanding the arts activities at smaller community halls and attracting more music events to the shire. Having lived in Melbourne for more than 20 years, Ms Sullivan said she has an extensive network of artists and musicians to invite to exhibit and perform in South Gippsland.

“I’m starting a conversation with Mirboo North Scout Group to run a public art event and we will be involved with Creative Gippsland,” she said.

“There will also be an artist in residence program to get a town involved in hosting an artist from outside the area to work in the area for two weeks.”

Ms Sullivan will begin the role fulltime after completing a project she was already involved with: The Edge of Us along the Waterline area from Corinella to Pioneer Bay.

As co-creative director of that two year project of Regional Arts Victoria, she helped connect the towns of Pioneer Bay, Corinella, Coronet Bay, Tenby Point and Grantville through arts activities.

This included the Luminous Streets event in April 2017, during which sculptures were installed around the towns.

Ms Sullivan also oversaw the rejuvenation of Inverloch’s skate park, working with young people to transform the park into a colourful attraction within the heart of town.

With a masters degree in landscape architecture, she enjoys drawing and photography personally, and worked for 10 years as metal worker, including a three year stint with a sculptor in New York, USA.

Creative thinker: Mary Sullivan, South Gippsland Shire Council’s newly appointed arts development officer, among the sculpture created by Kardella potter Robert Barron outside council’s Leongatha office.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23765

Posted by on Jan 16 2018. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Champion of the arts”

  1. […] have traditionally been the place for communities to gather and host social and cultural events,” Arts Development Officer Mary Sullivan and her team quickly scoured their lush corner of the world and located about 50 beautifully quirky […]

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