In March 1971, a small group of Hervey bay Artists had gathered in the CWA hall at Torquay Road, Pialba for their weekly meeting. At this meeting a motion was passed to formally establish the Hervey Bay Art Society. Maureen Campbell became the first president and Lee McKenzie became the first art tutor. The group continued to meet regularly in the small CWA hall, but the members embarked on a mission to raise funds for the purchase of a property that would become their permanent home.
After 10 years of fund raising and hard work they raised $40,000 and approached the State Government for a “dollar for dollar” contribution towards the purchase of a building. They were not successful but they found an old factory building (formerly a bakery) in Sandy St, Urangan which looked to be suited to their needs so they persisted. A change in government encouraged the group to make another application for funding which was successful.
On 18 February 1993, the group held their first meeting in the new premises with 22 members present. More fund raising was needed to meet the cost of refurbushing the building into a workshop area and a gallery. In June 1995, 30 members attended what was called the “Bakery Wake”, a party to celebrate the changing of the “Old Urangan Bakery” into their new art gallery and workshop which they called “Gallery 5”.
The official opening of “Gallery 5” coincided with the 13th annual Competitive Art Exhibition on 9 August 1996. By then membership had risen to over 100 and Gallery 5 became the largest art gallery in Hervey Bay. More then 20 years have now passed since “Gallery 5” was officially opened but the work to raise funds and continually improve the facility has never stopped.
Gallery 5 is now the venue for the Art Society’s annual member exhibition which is a showcase of the members work. Nine smaller exhibitions are held each year with different subjects for the artists to paint each month.
Today, Gallery 5 and the Hervey Bay Art Society plays an important cultural role in the Hervey Bay community by providing a focal point for artists and like minded people to meet and join in art related and social activities. We hope the Hervey Bay Art Society will prosper into the future and will continue to provide exhibitions and fine art to the Fraser Coast community.