New partnership provides studio space for art alumni

QCA alumnus Mandy Quadrio at work in the Hope Street Studio

Rising star Mandy Quadrio is one of several art alumni to benefit from a new industry partnership providing studio space for Griffith graduates in the heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct.

The Queensland College of Art (QCA) and Griffith University Art Museum (GUAM) have teamed up with local developer Aria Property Group, to support the Hope Street Studio in South Brisbane – part of an effort to preserve the city’s cultural hub.

A room of one’s own

Emerging artist Mandy Quadrio in the Hope Street studio

Mandy Quadrio graduated from the QCA with a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) and is now completing her Doctor of Visual Art.

The award-winning artist is revelling in the Hope Street Studio’s natural light and high ceilings.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity for me and a real privilege to be given this space,” she said.

“I’ve been creating something every day and hanging it here it in the studio gives me a sense of what it will look like in a gallery.”

Mandy is also pleased to be a part of the thriving art scene in South Brisbane – just a stone’s throw from the QCA campus at South Bank.

“It’s a great neighbourhood right in the middle of Brisbane’s art precinct – GOMA is across the road, you’ve got the independent galleries in West End and the QCA at South Bank.”

Industry partnerships benefit alumni

Griffith University Art Museum Director Angela Goddard

Griffith University Art Museum Director Angela Goddard said the partnership was a good example of homegrown corporate players supporting the city’s artists.

“GUAM and the QCA are passionate about supporting artists and it’s great to see our connections with industry benefiting our alumni,” she said.

Griffith alumnus and ARIA commercial manager Michael Zaicek said the company was keen to support the area’s unique cultural community.

ARIA commercial manager Michael Zaicek. Photo courtesy Robert Shakespeare.

“We have undertaken significant collaborations with all of the cultural institutions in the area, from QAGOMA to the Queensland Museum, Metro Arts and now the Queensland College of Art,” he said.

“This area is a real cultural hub, and our developments are a blank canvas for local artists.

“For emerging artists, the lack of studio space is often a real barrier to entry – we’ve got lots of little nooks and crannies that we want to see put to creative use. For us it was about joining the dots.”

Studio provides refuge and inspiration

Dr Julie-Anne Milinski in the Hope Street Studio

The inaugural artist-in-residence was QCA alumnus Dr Julie-Anne Milinski, a sculptor whose work focuses on the natural environment and sustainability. Julie-Anne occupied the Hope Street Studio during the height of COVID lockdowns, and found that the space provided a refuge and inspiration.

“I am extremely grateful to ARIA and to Griffith for the Hope Street Studio Residency which provided time and space for sustained focus on my practice,” she said.

“The events of the past year have called for a continual re-evaluation of ideas, materials and processes, and reinforced the importance of flexibility, sustainability and resilience.

“The beautiful glass-fronted Hope Street Studio provided a versatile workspace, test site and inspiration.”