Octapod e-News May 2013

Welcome to our May 2013 newsletter featuring the latest from Octapod and arts and culture in the Hunter.

Creative Partners Sprucing Up the POD
Octapod is super excited to be partnering with Neon Zoo and Charlie’s Garage to develop a snazzy new look and website for the organisation, which will be launched next month. Our clever creative partners are currently working their magic to give Octapod a sparkly new lease on life – stay tuned!

INSERT Part 1 - Photo courtesy of Anna Jaaniste

INSERT Part 1 – Photo courtesy of Anna Jaaniste

INSERT Series a Success
During the month PODspace Gallery presented a series of art events in the laneway next to Caffestry in Newcastle East. This was an experiment not only in presenting events outside of the traditional gallery context, but also in bringing different artists together to explore the creative process.

The first night saw Misha and Luke Greenhalgh (pictured) improvise a cross-artform collaboration that involved Misha responding to Luke’s music while he painted a mural on the wall. Week two provided a real treat as Neil Mansfield projected his film ‘Street Sweeper’ onto the back wall of the laneway, while Fox Control performed live. The final instalment of INSERT saw David Graham facilitate a spoken word event where local poets read original work created for the evening.

This was PODspace Gallery’s first foray into pop-up art events, which have been encouraged by much positive feedback from artists and audience members. Thank you to all involved for helping make the series such a great success!

Justine Potter headshot 2011

Justine Potter, Octapod Access Officer

Octapod Access Officer Appointed
Octapod is delighted to announce the appointment of Justine Potter to the new role of Access Officer. The position was developed to reinvigorate the Hunter Arts Access Network and promote the Hunter Artsworker Database – an online listing of artists who have experience working with people with disability.

Justine has worked in the arts sector for over 20 years, having recently been the General Manager at Tantrum Theatre where she was instrumental in setting up their Access Program that offers mixed ability theatre workshops. We welcome Justine to the Octapod team.


Save the Date – PODspace Gallery at the LighthousePODspace_Gallery_at_Lighthouse - Copy

Following on from the success of INSERT, PODspace Gallery will be curating a two-week exhibition at Nobby’s Lighthouse; weekends 6-7 and 13-14 July.

The exhibition will showcase local artists responding to and from Newcastle’s most prominent landmark as well as celebrating the City and its rich arts community. PODspace Gallery will also be holding art-making workshops on site as part of the program. Further information will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Hunter Arts Access Network Meeting
Twenty people attended the recent Hunter Arts Access Network meeting, which focused on how the network can support participation in the arts by people with disability within the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The group identified a number of priorities including general disability awareness training for artists and arts organisations, arts awareness training for disability services and an artsworker database. There was genuine excitement about the employment opportunities that the NDIS may offer to artists who have experience working with people with disability. Thank you to all who attended.

City_Evolutions_imageCity Evolutions Launch – WATTS on WATT, Friday 21 June
Join in the free event to turn on the lights of City Evolutions and celebrate the history and everything that is great about Watt Street and Newcastle today. Watt Street will be open for pedestrians only as the bars, restaurants, galleries, theatres and venues open their doors onto the street with live music, great food, markets, street performances and more. MORE

PODspace Gallery – Call for New Directors
PODspace Gallery was established in 2007 by art professionals, Gillean Shaw and Johanna Trainor. Since then the gallery has continued to provide a much needed and valued exhibition space for local, national and international artists, as well as an ideal learning experience for budding artists and art administrators.

Current PODspace Gallery Director, Emily Roberts is leaving soon to travel overseas so the hunt is on for new volunteer directors. If you are an arts student, past or present, or have a strong desire to work in and amongst a gallery setting, then PODspace is a great place to start learning the ropes.

Emily has described her experience with PODspace Gallery as, “Priceless. I wouldn’t have my current job in Arts Admin without the experience I’ve been able to gain working closely with the artists and the fellow POD Members. I’ve also made contacts and friends that will see me through my professional career, as well as learnt smallest and largest gallery management skills that you are not taught in tertiary education. It all comes from experience.”

While PODspace Gallery is currently operating outside a traditional gallery space, experimenting with pop-up style exhibitions (such as the recent INSERT series) the gallery looks to move back to a regular exhibition space in 2014.

If you interested in becoming part of the PODspace Gallery team and would like to learn more please contact Octapod Director, Christina Robberds via admin@octapod.org or 0415 699 227.

Critical Animals Journal Submissions Openpanda-in-a-trolley
Over the past ten years, the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium has seen its dynamic community of thinkers and practitioners evolve and transform. To mark this milestone in 2013, Critical Animals will be producing the inaugural Critical Animals Journal to reflect upon the extraordinary contributions and relationships that have emerged through this annual symposium since its inception in 2003. For more detail regarding the aims and aspirations of this project please refer to Call for Submissions.

HAN_Art_Bazaar_Winter_2013Winter Art Bazaar at MRAG
HAN’s Winter Art Bazaar is being held at Maitland Regional Art Gallery on Sunday, 9 June. Art Bazaar is the Hunter’s premier artisan and design marketplace featuring a variety of premium handmade products from over 100 local HAN artists including fashion, jewellery, accessories, fine art, photography, sculptures and homewares. MORE

Vivid Sydney 2013 – On Till 10 June
Sydney has once again been transformed into a spectacular canvas of light, music and ideas with Vivid taking over the city after dark from 24 May – 10 June 2013. Colouring the city with creativity and inspiration, Vivid Sydney highlights include the hugely popular immersive light installations and projections; performances from local and international musicians at Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House and the Vivid Ideas Exchange featuring public talks and debates from leading global creative thinkers. MORE