Since its inception, First Coat Studios has facilitated public art projects, curated monthly exhibitions and hosted community events in the Laurel Street Studio space for six years. Through many transitions, the gallery and outdoor painting space offered regular opportunities to showcase contemporary art, up until early 2020 when COVID-19 hit.
First Coat Studios was Re-launched in May 2021 upon coming out of the initial COVID shock with a fresh board of directors and look, focusing on more artforms to exhibit such as film, performing arts and multidisciplinary art. The gallery space that First Coat now resides is hosted by Rare Squid Creative.
Director - Chairperson
Alex Stalling is an Australian visual artist & cultural practitioner based in Toowoomba Queensland. Exploring representational self portraits through automatic painting, motifs and linework. Her career includes a professional arts practice, exhibitions, public art, committees, community activations, professional development & mentoring, gallery services, digital content creation, maker & product designer, event coordinator and business entrepreneur. She is the founder of Tinker (2018-present), Co-founder of Made Creative Space Toowoomba (2011-2013), founder Attic Art Space (2009-2010) and has managed and facilitate numerous community art & cultural events across the Darling Downs.
Paddy Long is a local mover and shaker in the Toowoomba arts community. As Manager and Chair of First Coat, Paddy intends to bring his collaborative approach to First Coat to create inclusive and innovative exhibitions, workshops, public art opportunities and more. Originally from Newcastle, he completed his Bachelor of Creative Arts with first class honours at USQ and his arts practice has explored alternative and subversive exhibition spaces, travelling the world and documenting through film.
Director - Treasurer
Josh Willson has a keen interest in film, business and finance, and has travelled across Australia to work on music videos, corporate productions and short films. Between film productions, he also takes on website design, IT, and business dev as managing partner for Rare Squid Creative.
Stephen Payton is the owner of Banter Coffee Kitchen, where he curates the Brouhaha Gallery, an in-store rotating public art gallery space. Payton is also the Director of Programming for Nomad Pictures (formerly Toowoomba Film Society) and is an artist in his own right, with both solo exhibitions and group shows around Toowoomba. Payton has completed a Bachelor Arts (Honours) in English Literature and specialises in Post-Colonial Studies & Cultural Theory.
Brodie Taylor is the Curator (Arts and Exhibitions) of the University of Southern Queensland, managing their multi-million-dollar art collection and exhibition program. He is currently serving as an Executive Board member of the International Council of Museum Australia, and is Grand Librarian of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, overseeing the expansion, and in recent times packing, of the Archives, Library and Museum of Freemasonry in Queensland.