28 June 2023

Eastern Riverina Arts introduces a fresh face and a new space at the Ambo

| Chris Roe
Join the conversation
Ashleigh Adams

Ashleigh Adams is the Ambo’s new program and partnership manager. Photo: Chris Roe.

Things are happening inside Wagga’s new arts hub in the old ambulance station on Johnston Street where Eastern Riverina Arts (ERA) has just put out the call for artists to exhibit in the new gallery.

“It’s really exciting to be able to see all the potential that’s in the space,” said Ashleigh Adams, who has just been appointed as the Ambo’s program and partnership manager.

“We’re now setting up some of these bookable spaces like the new Ambo Gallery and upstairs we’ll have a broadcast suite, and meeting spaces, so it’s great to start activating things.”

READ ALSO Make tech work for you: Webinars give small businesses tools to unlock digital success

The Ambo Gallery is taking shape in the former ambulance parking bays at the front of the building where a new floor, ramp, picture rails and gallery lighting have been installed.

“We wanted to be able to make the gallery something that can be utilised in different ways by different artists and creative groups in our community, because it’s often not a one size fits all for people and we want to be able to support a range of artists’ needs,” Ashleigh said.

The Ambo

The historic ambulance station on Johnston Street is being transformed into an arts hub. Photo: Supplied.

Having grown up in Wagga, Ashleigh has always been drawn to a career in the arts, undertaking a BA in fine arts and visual culture and completing a masters in art history and curatorial studies last year.

After working across a number of part-time roles with the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery and the Museum of the Riverina, she is excited to be involved with a new initiative that’s geared towards growing the local arts economy.

She is in the process of developing a three-year program to “jump-start” utilisation and engagement with the new hub and gallery.

READ ALSO Survey aims to better understand regional healthcare needs of LGBTQIA+ community

“It’s just such an exciting space because it’s really geared to support artist development and instead of just giving people advice around shows they might have coming up, we’re actually able to say, ‘Hey, if you want to test this out, you can use our space and we can help you iron out any kinks’,” she said.

“The great thing about having a physical gallery space is that we are able to use the connections that we have with those larger institutions and organisations and we can help an artist to put together a show and then connect with other opportunities.”

Ambo Gallery

Ashleigh shows off the evolving Ambo Gallery where local artists will be supported to exhibit. Photo: Chris Roe.

In opening up for expressions of interest, ERA has outlined four categories for artists including solo, group, community and partnership shows.

“The solo show is for artists who are able to produce a body of work to fill the whole space and are really looking to step up their practice and hone their skills,” Ashleigh explained.

“They can come in here without the pressure of being in a larger institution where they can get the support from ERA to help put together a show that’s going to make them competitive when it comes to those bigger opportunities.”

Group shows will be centred around a new theme every few months and artists looking to grow their experience will be invited to submit a single work that fits the chosen parameters.

The community shows will connect with local art societies and clubs while partnership shows will involve institutions and organisations delivering a program or exhibition in the Ambo Gallery.

Ash and the ERA team are champing at the bit to get things rolling.

“We want to be able to provide a hub for creative industries in the region where artists are able to come and not only access the facilities, but to meet each other and work together to create their own collaborations,” she said.

“We want to really make this the thing that propels artists forward and to help them find success beyond the region.”

As the fit-out wraps up on the Ambo Gallery, ERA is hoping to begin hosting exhibitions from spring 2023.

You can find out more or pitch an exhibition idea here.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.