Art Society returns home to Old Girls School

The property known as the Old Girls School was built in 1878 and was formerly the Northam State School, and is owned by the Shire.
The property known as the Old Girls School was built in 1878 and was formerly the Northam State School, and is owned by the Shire.

The Avon Valley Arts Society has a new home, with Council approving the lease of the Old Girls School on Wellington Street.

The property known as the Old Girls School was built in 1878 and was formerly the Northam State School, and is owned by the Shire.

The property was previously leased by the Avon Valley Arts Society (AVAS) until their lease expired in December 2011.

AVAS President Ulo Rumjantsev said the new AVAS executive committee have big plans for the group moving forward.

“People here have been involved in so many creative projects including dance, theatre, music, film-making, visual arts and performace poetry and it’s time to showcase the fantastic creative things they do,” Mr Rumjantsev said.

“AVAS has a very strong base with art works in the form of painting and sculptures.

“Our vision is to gradually introduce some of these other mediums into our curriculum having other artisans doing public workshops, introducing new skills.

“We want to develop an operational public gallery, a place of learning, teaching, photography, pottery, junk art, chainsaw sculptures and card making, to be regognised within the state of WA.”

He said all of these plans lead to AVAS needing a home. 

“Creativity contrubutes much to our socity, culture and public spaces so it would be great to see the arts community growing right here in Northam,” Mr Rumjantsev said.

“It is the 50th anniversary of the AVAS Northam.

“Later this year AVAS will be conducting the Northam Art Prize and the Fred Killick Memorial Art Awards Evening Exhibition to be held over a week. 

“We will introduce a new category entrant, the Northam Junior Art Prize, for ages 12 to 18.

“With this new level of entry it is hoped it will encourage a new level of membership to grow the future.”

Council unanimously voted in favour of leasing the Old Girls School and the surrounding land to the Avon Valley Art Society.