(17/5/2019) White Gum Valley artist studios get SHACtivated! | City of Fremantle

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17 May 2019
(17/5/2019) White Gum Valley artist studios get SHACtivated!

A sustainable housing cooperative for Fremantle artists is throwing open the doors to its new creative studios for the first time this weekend.

The Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives (SHAC) Eco Village in White Gum Valley offers 12 affordable residential units for local artists, as well as a new community workshop and gallery space.

To celebrate the official opening of the gallery and workshop spaces SHAC is hosting SHACtivate! - a series of community events over the next three weeks.

SHAC chair Koral Ward said the unique community was created to provide affordable housing so artists could continue to live and work in Fremantle.

“Fremantle has always been a centre of creativity and the arts, but rising property prices and the lack of affordable rentals meant that many artists simply couldn’t afford to live here anymore,” Dr Ward said.

“After nine years of hard work by members and associates we’ve established the affordable artist housing and the two new creative studios at White Gum Valley, and SHACtivate! is a wonderful way to introduce ourselves to the wider community.

“The support from the City of Fremantle has been absolutely critical in helping us turn our vision into a reality.

“Through the FreoMatch crowd-funding program the $25,000 we raised for the project was matched dollar-for-dollar by the City.

“Without that funding none of this would have been possible, so we are forever grateful to the City for their support of SHAC and their support for the arts in Fremantle.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the artistic community made an invaluable contribution to Fremantle’s identity and culture.

“Unfortunately though, this contribution is not always rewarded financially,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“As property in Fremantle has become more expensive it’s become more important to make sure we have a mix of housing types, so the people who give Fremantle its unique character can still afford to live here.

“From the City’s perspective this project ticks all the boxes by nurturing the arts and artists, and promoting a more sustainable way of living.”   

SHACtivate! kicks off this weekend with ‘Imagine More’ - the inaugural exhibition of resident artists’ work – and a free family concert with puppetry and live music.

Next weekend emerging young creatives will occupy the space with sound installations and street art, while SHAC’s associate Nyoongar artists will display visual art and perform dance and traditional storytelling from 31 May -2 June.

The SHACtivate! program and exhibitions are supported by a City of Fremantle arts grant.

SHAC is located in the WGV sustainable housing development at 3 Cower Mews, White Gum Valley.

To see the full SHACtivate! program and make event bookings visit the SHACFreo website.