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.
Currently in development for 2019. this program aims to provide support for emerging and established writers through mentorship and online publishing. The Writers Program will support cross venue engagement in the arts to build local capacity to share monthly reviews of multi-disciplinary events such as gallery exhibitions, performances in theatre, dance and music.
As part of Galleries Studies at the University of Southern Queensland, Creative Arts students are invited to review public performance and exhibitions with a broad mix of organisations and venues with core programs in the arts.
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 // Regional Residency Network
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.
In 2019, First Coat Studios aims to partner with different regions across Queensland to establish a Regional Residency Network – an innovative cultural program that embraces collaboration to develop opportunities for regional artists. Presented by KickArts Contemporary and First Coat Studios, this program will develop partnerships, resources and skills that support and stimulate regional contemporary arts. Stage one is pilot exchange between Cairns and Toowoomba; offering an emerging artist from each region professional development through a six week residency, an exhibition and public artist talk.
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.
Future. Now. Youth Forum
Future. Now is an annual all ages event that supports local young people, their ideas and the arts. This annual event offers a safe and inclusive environment for creative expression, socialisation and skills development for Toowoomba’s young people. Through showcasing live music performance and live visual art, as well as live theatre, movement and spoken word performances, Future. Now celebrates all art forms and the intersection between them.
Alongside this, Future. Now creates a space for Toowoomba's young people to engage in critical discussions around key issues affecting them. We invite young people and industry leaders to contribute to panel discussions and workshop local solutions. Formal mentorship is offered to young arts practitioners to development their operational skills with in creative events.
This event ran over two years and concluded in 2018.
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.