MARS is home to four resident artists each year. They’re our art battlers, live artists, inspiration and focus.
In 2012, MARSians will reside in a shared studio on theGRID: hybrid arts collective for three months at a time, working towards a solo show at the conclusion of their time on theGRID.
MARSians also feature in group shows hosted by MARS and commissioned workshops, including Toowoomba Regional Council’s Youth Connect program’s ”Eaten by Monsters’ workshops delivered across six small towns surrounding Toowoomba, in 2012
Aerosol artist Lauren Johansen left South Africa two years ago and has since called Toowoomba home.
She has a couple of commissioned murals throughout south-east Queensland and aspires to bigger walls, more often.
As a resident artist on MARS in 2012, Lauren’s keen to extend her practice to incorporate sculptural, illustration and traditional smaller-scale elements of what the rest of the world generally see’s as art.
Contemporary scenic artist, Debbie Munro returned to her visual arts practice as part of an arts’ community in Winston in 2010 - almost twenty years since she studied visual arts at Auckland’s Griffith University.
Two years later, she’s exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Toowoomba and won local awards for her works.
Debbie’s trademark scenic works are a contemporary mix of traditional su bject and striking colour compositions.
Dale Mundi’s solo month-long residency at Toowoomba’s Smells Like Zines Distro in 2011 was a catalyst for more for the self-taught artist.
More time for his practice; more attention from his peers; and a desire to learn, exhibit, explore… well, more.
Dale’s mixed media works on paper feature strong angles and a two-dimensional focus which, when mixed with his subtle but striking palette, evoke a calm kind of conviction.
Margo Isaac arrives on MARS with a handful of group show experiences and a Certificate IV in Visual Arts + Contemporary Crafts behind her.
Her varied works feature a colourful palette and a contemporary take on elements of portraiture and loose realism.
She draws inspiration from her younger siblings who often feature in her work, and in her casual role as a face-painting clown for children’s …parties and events.
2011 MARS resident artists are heading off into their own practice in 2012 and we’re proud to continue our tight relationship with them all across exciting new collectives and mentor programs.
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MARS first resident artists were the brave guinea pigs.They fearlessly dove into their arts practice producing solid works, industry connections, nitty gritty knowhow and fantastic performance art by way of MARS popular battles.
A highlight of their commitment and bravery was their 20 minute live art performance in front of a 500-strong audience at Toowoomba’s iconic Empire Theatre for theGRID dance + performance school’s annual showcase.
It’s our pleasure to introduce you to our first gang of aliens:
A signwriter by trade, Ian works predominantly with aerosol but also pulls out some wicked designs on shoes, furniture, homewares and big walls / floors. Predominantly self-taught, Ian’s works are heavily influenced by street culture - something he’ll explore further in 2012 as he heads off to a Visual Arts degree at the University of Southern Queensland.
In 2011, Ian has hosted can control workshops as part of Youth Day celebrations, finished commercial commissions, sold loads of works and cemented some exiting connections - one of which will result in urban arts collective, Sensability, on theGRID: hybrid arts collective, in Toowoomba.
His solo show at made.creative space pushed the boundaries that traditionally separate ‘fine art’ and ‘graffiti culture’ to high acclaim.
Lynden arrived on MARS with a handful of qualifications and years of Gallery experience after dedicating much of her time to her arts’ practise.
Her multimedia, textured works enjoyed solid sales throughout 2011 and she facilitated another of her Mandala workshops at a Creativity Weekend held at a Springbrook Retreat Centre.
Lynden’s fourth solo show ‘Belonging in the Dream of Life’ opens at Millmerran Library January 19, 2012.
Library hours are Monday - Friday, 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm. Venture out about an hour along the Gore Highway and explore the town’s murals also. The show hangs until February 28, 2012.
For someone that didn’t take art at school and didn’t consider it even as a hobby thereafter, things have certainly changed for Jesse Wright in recent years.
“Art just sort of crept in,” he says.
In 2011, Multi-talented Jesse completed a Diploma of Visual Arts at TAFE, designed sets for the Toowoomba Choral Society’s prodution of Suessical the Musical at Empire Theatre, Toowoomba. He also impressed the local scene with his solo show in the dining section of Metro Cafe + EVents that was custom built to the space in a grand fashion.
Jesse’s works explore the connection between 2D and installation art, his self-taught taxidermy upped the ante on Toowoomba’s local art scene and garnered attention from across Queensland.
MARS resident artist of 2011 and founding director, Alison Mooney’s works explore seemingly humble mixed media on salvaged wooden surfaces.
She’s exhibited extensively locally and has works held in private collections in Japan, NZ, PNG as well as nationally.
Her efforts in 2011 will culminate in an exciting new initiative for Toowoomba, theGRID: hybrid arts collective. A partnership between herself and dance + performance school director, Kirsty Lee, theGRID is home to 17 creatives across 10 artistic disciplines in a 200-capacity CBD building.
In 2012 Alison will take a step back from her arts practise to solidify the exciting cultural shifts for artists across all disciplines in Toowoomba, in her roles as MARS director and co-director on theGRID.