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Community & Business

3 August, 2022

Arts Council marks 40 years

As the Millmerran Arts Council prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, The Sentinel met with long-standing president Nell Macqueen and new president Angela Slater as a new exhibition was hung at the Kenneth Macqueen Foyer Gallery.

The new exhibition features colourful and incredibly intricately detailed quilt art by Lyndell Bowden based on illustrations by Helen Godden.

Some of Lyndell’s water colours and other textile works are also on display. 

The exhibition continues until October 4 and is open during library hours from 10am to 1pm and 2pm and 5pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 

The gallery is named after the renowned Australian artist Kenneth Macqueen who moved to the area to farm in 1922 with his brother Jack, an entomologist. 

Kenneth had already established a love of painting and the arts as a child and it would be a lifelong passion. 

It is his daughter-in-law, Nell Macqueen, married to one of Kenneth’s two children, Revan, who has been a guiding light on Millmerran’s arts scene for the past four decades and who believed the arts to be “an essential part of life.” 

“We had a brand new cultural centre, a community of interested people and a vibrant local council and we met to see how we
could best use the cultural centre,” Nell recalls, of  the early beginnings of the group. 

From that initial meeting herself and Heather Ezzy had begun to plan a community concert “and that started the tradition...”

Many diverse exhibitions, concerts, workshops, Australia Day bush ballad competitions and special events have followed through the years. 

 Nell said the past 15 years had been particularly busy for the group, “enthusiastic little bunch that we are.” 

She said the Doug Hall Foundation had been a generous supporter of the Millmerran Arts Council. 

Angela Slater, who Nell describes as “a godsend”  joined the committee two years ago, shortly after moving to the region. 

She had spent eight years at Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane as Director of Communications and Marketing. 

“Nell Macqueen has an infectious spirit when it comes to engaging the community in the arts and I feel quite honoured to be part of such a passionate arts council committee,“ one of few remaining in Queensland, Angela said. 

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