July 2, 2020
South Burnett artist Olivia Everitt has a busy time ahead …
At the moment she’s preparing artworks to display in Kingaroy business windows as part of a Central Queensland Regional Arts Service Network (CQ RASN) project.
Last weekend, she was elected president of South Burnett Arts – a not-for-profit incorporated association promoting arts in the local region.
And on Thursday, the State Government announced she had been successful in gaining funding of almost $8000 for an arts research project in the South Burnett.
The CQ RASN project was part of its “Tough and Tender Beauty” artist-at-home residency program offered during COVID-19 isolation.
Artists were invited to put together a project proposal – it could be a painting, music, dance, writing or even comedy – that could be developed at home.
Olivia’s project, “Introspection In Isolation” was one of seven approved.
It consists of drawings, painting and collage which will be digitised and turned into vinyl decals.
These decals – she’s planning to create between six and 10 – will be then stuck on shop windows around Kingaroy, forming a mini art trail.
Several business owners have already agreed to display the artworks and she’s planning a map to guide visitors around the trail.
“Businesses can get in touch with me if they want to get involved,” she said.
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On Sunday, Olivia took over the reins of South Burnett Arts Inc from retiring president Jane Iszlaub who has successfully guided the organisation since its inception in 2009 but has now moved to Brisbane.
The group hasn’t been able to hold its regular meet’n’greets because of COVID-19 restrictions but Olivia stepped up and organised an online alternative which has proven very popular.
Olivia launched South Burnett Arts Hours on Zoom to share information from guest speakers with local artists.
Guests have included Lisa Stephenson, manager of cultural services at Fraser Coast Regional Council; Melinda Jones, who explained the new Monto Mural Art Trail; Kerryanne Farrer, from the Flying Arts Alliance; and Rachael Parsons, from the New England Arts Museum.
South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto, who has promised to take plans for a new Arts Advisory Committee to Council for consideration, has also been a guest speaker.
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Thursday’s announcement was part of State Government funding to assist 69 artists and arts workers across the State.
Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the government was investing in talented individual and independent artists to support their professional development.
Olivia said her grant would be used to grow skills in “cultural mapping” in the South Burnett.
“Support from the Queensland Government will enable me to undertake a period of invaluable professional development to advance my capacity in the regional arts sector,” she said.
“With three years of drought and now COVID-19, it’s challenging to secure income and development opportunities in the arts in my region. I’m delighted to be given this opportunity.”