First Coat Studios is a non-profit artist-run space supporting refreshing, accessible and engaging arts practices. Our core programs focus on connecting people, sharing stories and profiling diverse contemporary art forms.
First Coat Studios hosts monthly art exhibitions with interest in fostering critical ideas and practices in contemporary art. Home to two gallery spaces, we provide a pivotal platform for emerging artists, curators and writers to present new ideas and artworks, free from the pressure and compromises of the commercial and institutional sector. Through this training ground, we aim to support the development of strong and independent local arts practices.
Our on site gallery offers two unique exhibitions spaces. Gallery One boasts high ceilings, a 7m long wide wall and two bespoke wooden finish. The Project Space is an intimate setting designed for experimental and installation based practices. Our exhibition program rotates monthly in showcasing the work of emerging and established artists.
Through a collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland, First Coat Studios offers two emerging curators a 12-month gallery internship. This exchange engages young arts professionals in gallery operations and programming to develop their curatorial skills.
Through an inclusive and ambitious workshop program, we offer opportunities for skills development in a diverse mix of short courses. We provide social spaces for our artistic and wider community to create, debate and grow, whilst upskilling local artists to share their talents. In 2018 we began developing a twice monthly program to offer more on site sessions with travelling creatives in order to strengthen networks and share new ways of creating.
First Coat Studios regularly connects with early education, primary and secondary schools and community organisations in the region to develop creative courses with local young people. These opportunities are developed on a project basis to provide local artists to develop and present their practice in a workshop context.
Our inner city studio is home to a shared working environment, unlike a typical office space. Home to eight multidisciplinary Artists & Makers, First Coat Studios encourages sustainable arts practices and creative collaboration.
Local Artist Studios
Our subsidised studio spaces directly foster career development for emerging practitioners and creative ventures. We provide a vital platform for industry experience in a professional setting, to assist with bridging the gap between emerging practices and a career path in the arts. Short term residencies are encouraged for local artists working on specific projects or interested in experiencing a different working environment.
Traveling Artist Program
First Coat Studio has facilitated a number of short term residencies with traveling artists. In October 2018, one artist from the Sunshine Coast undertook a self initiated four week residency, which culminated in a pop up exhibition and artist talk. This format has encouraged the development on ongoing program that invites artists to the Toowoomba Region.
Young Artist Lab
Through an on site residency, this program invites emerging artists to explore their studio practice and undergo creative mentorship. Artists will develop their own arts practices with access to a full time studio space. This aims to foster experimentation with new work, provide career development, one on one mentoring and opportunities to connect with full time creative residents. Commencing in 2019, Young Artist Lab gives emerging artists an insight in to the operations of an artist-run-space and potential career paths in the arts.
First Coat Block Party
First Coat Studios established an annual First Coat International Art Festival, and has independently facilitated over 100 large-scale public artworks for the city of Toowoomba and dozens more across South East Queensland. First Coat Block Party will continue our Festival legacy; maintaining Toowoomba’s outdoor gallery through an annual community event. One national and one local artists will paint large-scale murals over a one-week period. This will be celebrated through an artist talk series, a site-specific installation, a live music event and more.
This program has received local government funding for development in 2019 for delivery in 2020.
VENUE FOR HIRE
Our workshop space, art gallery and outdoor arena are all available for hire for a range of events. We’d love to hear about your next function; whether that’s a live music gig, film screening, theatre production or birthday celebration, we cater for the unconventional and the more traditional.