First Coat Studios

About us


First Coat Studios is driven by making arts and culture more accessible. Through inclusive and ambitious public programs, we celebrate hybrid arts experiences and nurture the role the arts plays in our local community. 



First Coat Studios (FCS) is a vital training ground for emerging and established practitioners. We aim to foster an environment that is focussed on the production and exploration of new arts practices.

Leading into a seventh year of operations, FCS is an integral part of the arts infrastructure in regional Queensland. With in our own public programs and through supporting other creative initiatives, FCS provides space for experimentation and opportunities to connect with new audiences.

Initiated in response to the social and cultural needs of our city, FCS exists to celebrate, nurture and contribute sustainably to creative culture in our region and beyond.

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First Coat Studios was originally established as Kontraband Studios in 2012 as part of a local hybrid arts collective, theGRID. What began as an aerosol arts supplies and apparel store, soon expanded into a screen printing studio and exhibition space.

By July 2013, Kontraband Studios had formed at the Laurel St premises and after three months of renovations, launched as an art gallery and shared creative studio. The then trio of Directors delivered their first public art festival, First Coat in February 2014; celebrating Toowoomba for it's vibrant arts community.

Since its inception, the studio has regularly facilitated public art projects, curated monthly exhibitions and hosted community events. Six years on and one rebrand down, we've evolved to offer more artist studios and a dedicated workshop space.  Through many transitions, the gallery and outdoor painting space has remained a constant; offering regular opportunities to showcase contemporary art.