COMING TOGETHER: More than 20 venues participating, 16 individual artists and nine creative collectives will take part in the Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail.
COMING TOGETHER: More than 20 venues participating, 16 individual artists and nine creative collectives will take part in the Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail. Andrew Jarvie

Silo art an inspiration for GB trail

THE Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail - Open Studios Event is set to provide a fully immersive experience of the rich tapestry of culture, talent, history and artefacts in the region.

Visitors will be encouraged to take classes, watch demonstrations and be entertained by the area's wealth of local talent over two huge weekends in October.

Organiser Rosy Chapman says her catalyst was the devastating impact of the Girraween bushfires at the start of the year.

"The impact of drought on our community and the decimation of our natural assets through fire cannot be underestimated,” she said.

"De-amalgamation has struck at the core of our identity, as has isolation in our remote rural communities. I wanted to find a way to bring the community together, drive tourism to the region and enable our talented artists to develop a strong, supportive, inclusive, creative community.

"I was inspired by the Silo Art Trail, a concept that began in the drought-afflicted Victorian town of Brim in 2016. Street artist Guido van Helten was commissioned to paint powerful images of local farmers on the town's wheat silos.

"This resulted in international media attention, an influx of tourists to the region, and expansion of the trail into a 200-kilometre-long outdoor art gallery of silos.

"When I realised what an arts trail could do for the Granite Belt's economy, I was determined to give it my best shot.”

More than 20 people attended the first Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail (GBART) meeting.

This is where Rosy Chapman shared her ideas for an arts trail, modelled on the success of the Scenic Rim's Open Studios of weekends.

"The groundswell of community support has been incredible. We have 26 venues participating, 16 individual artists and nine creative collectives.”

Southern Downs Regional Council have supported the initiative by providing GBART with a community development grant.

The Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail - Open Studios Event will be held over two weekends and follows a trail map to discover a variety of local artists, as they exhibit at studios and galleries.

It begins at the top of the Granite Belt at Dalveen and winds down south to Tenterfield just over the NSW border.

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