ACT Government plans for creating a lively, unique and specifically arts-focused environment on the Kingston Foreshore are well on the way to becoming a reality. An extensive Feasibility Study for the Kingston Arts Precinct has been undertaken to look in depth at ways to accommodate many of Canberra’s leading visual arts organisations and transform the precinct into a hive of creativity.
The historical buildings within the precinct provide glimpses of the past, but set the scene for an exciting and creative future. The Canberra Glassworks has breathed life into the grand old Kingston Powerhouse, which is now crowned with Touching Lightly, the towering light sculpture by Warren Langley. The building, which had lain dormant for 50 years, now provides a state-of-the art facility for the creation and exploration of glass art.
Adjacent to the Glassworks is The Fitters’ Workshop, designed by John Murdoch Smith and built in 1916-17, which provides a distinctive setting for exhibitions, events and performances including the nationally recognised Canberra International Music Festival and more recently the renowned Australian men’s choir the Spooky Men’s Chorale.
There are many opportunities for the co-location of arts venues, organisations and facilities centred on the Kingston Foreshore that will create a critical mass of ideas and creative energy, and these opportunities are already being explored and progressed.
Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, which re-located to a purpose built facility at the precinct in 2013, recently undertook an artistic exchange with the Canberra Glassworks on the captivating exhibition GLINT – a collaboration of glass and print with artists sharing creative ideas and art practices across the two facilities.
These synergies will be further expanded as more of Canberra’s leading arts organisations come together in new purpose-built facilities as part of a fully integrated and activated arts precinct – a vibrant and dynamic place that provides for a mix of uses including creative arts and cultural activities, entertainment, community uses, residential areas, markets, professional suites, and restaurants and cafes.
To keep updated on the Kingston Arts Precinct make sure to check the artsACT website www.arts.act.gov.au