Southern Cross University’s art students are celebrating their new professional exhibition space in the Lismore CBD at the SCU next art gallery, 89 Magellan Street.

Visual Arts lecturer and gallery co-ordinator, Dr Shelagh Morgan, said next art gallery was operating out of the alleyway gallery on a trial basis until the end of the year.

“I call it being nomadic,” Shelagh said. “As Vice-Chancellor Paul Clark said at the opening, I didn’t call it ‘next’ without good reason, as the gallery has a history of moving, but we hope that our presence in the CBD will become permanent.

“I encourage all art lovers to go and see the current exhibition, ‘Imaginary Gardens’, which features work by artists teaching in the visual arts program at SCU. Imaginary Gardens explores the sometimes whimsical and other times theoretical perspectives on gardens and gardening.”

The exhibition continues until April 19.

Associate Professor Jan Davis, Southern Cross University Bachelor of Visual Arts course co-ordinator, said the current next art gallery was a stepping stone to the opening of the University’s dedicated gallery in the proposed new Margaret Olley Arts Centre being planned for the art in the heart cultural and artistic precinct in Keen Street, adjacent to the city library and conservatorium.

“The University has earmarked $250,000 towards the proposed centre, which is just a stone’s throw from SCU next art gallery’s current location in Magellan Street,” Jan said.

Shelagh said she was delighted that the University gallery was now in the CBD. “SCU next art gallery provides our students with an opportunity to work and exhibit in a professional setting, giving them relevant skills and knowledge to assist them in becoming professional, practising artists,” she said.

“Being in the CBD will require a new level of professionalism from them. It will also give students experience in working on joint artistic projects with the Lismore Regional Art Gallery as volunteer assistants.

“I am also delighted to announce that SCU will be able to offer one Arts graduate the position of gallery assistant. The position is offered yearly and is offered to students who have done gallery electives during their undergraduate studies.

“The first of these has been offered to Michael Moynihan who will start next week. I am excited!”

The SCU next art gallery space in Goodman Plaza will be used to store the University’s permanent art collection and as an occasional small exhibition space.