Wed 15 October 2014

Renew Newcastle Wins National Economic Development Award


Before and after at Four Point Gallery, 681b Hunter St, Newcastle West, Hunter Water. Photos by Benjamin Perrett.

Renew Newcastle has taken out top honours for the Economic Development category at Regional Development Australia’s Innovation Awards held on Wednesday 15 October in Albury, NSW.

Renew Newcastle’s founder Marcus Westbury attended the ceremony where judges stated Renew Newcastle was a “great project” that had demonstrated “sound planning, repeatable processes which were successful over a sustained period of time.”

‘This is great recognition for the work that Renew Newcastle has done and continues to do in growing the local economy and great acknowledgement for our team, partners, participants and supporters,’ Marcus Westbury said.

‘This award particularly recognises the efforts of hundreds of Novocastrians who have used Renew Newcastle as a platform for their own creative initiative, efforts and projects that have seeded new businesses and lasting change in the city’.

The Innovation Awards recognises and showcases outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the following categories; Economic Development, Planning and Building, Environment and Sustainability & Community.

Renew Newcastle was established in 2008 to tackle the problem of dozens of empty buildings in Newcastle’s CBD. Operating on very small budgets with unlikely partnerships and new mechanisms the organisation has to date activated 69 properties with 163 creative projects.

Renew Newcastle’s legal agreements, umbrella insurance schemes, social media based marketing and community building strategies have become a model for other communities across Australia and around the world.

Renew Newcastle is supported by the NSW Government and its Department of Trade & Investment, the Premier’s Regional & Rural Grants fund, Hunter Development Corporation and multiple property owners.

The award comes at a timely but challenging time for Renew Newcastle as it attempts to negotiate continuing state and local government funding to further its city revitalisation activities beyond the end of this year.


Dubbleyou Design, Market Square, Hunter Street Mall, The GPT Group & UrbanGrowthNSW. Photo by Melissa WIlson.


Thu 2 October 2014

Good News, Quick Links (September)

Furry Delights are a night light, touch light, sensory delight – adhesive back to stick anywhere you like! 50 cents from each Furry Delights sale is donated to the Tourette Syndrome of Australia. This handmade product has been created by artist & designer Bliss Cavanagh of Studio Bliss Designs and available to order at

140618-rn-MadeByRonnoco-pcMelissaWilson-lr-46 Design studio Made by Ronnoco are very pleased to advise they’ve signed a commercial lease in the space they have activated since March 2014 on Wolfe Street. “The street front exposure of our Renew Newcastle space has helped build our reputation, attract new clients and give us a place we can call home,” says Made by Ronnoco co-founder Raz O'Connor. Congratulations Raz & Jodi! You can keep up to date with MBR through their website

Poplar_Vases_-_Colored_and_Cropped_to_4_x_6 Renew Newcastle is pleased to welcome new project potteryali to The Emporium. Alison Sobel-Read specialises in ceramic jewellery, wall art and homewares and has taken up residence in the main entry off Hunter Street. Welcome Alison!

140226-Jodie-Louise-Millinary-pcMelissaWilson-6 Jodie Thompson’s creative project Jodie Louise Millinery has relocated from area now occupied by potteryali to a standalone space within The Emporium. Given Spring Racing Carnival Season is already underway, it’s peak time for hats and fascinators and the relocation to a bigger space couldn’t be better for Jodie allowing her to exhibit a growing range of handmade millinery pieces.

101Rewnew_projects_21-06-2013_image_by_Boony_Loahajaroenyot Jodie Louise Millinery now occupies the space previously activated by Wendy Ratcliffe’s vintage couture studio InVintaged. Wendy recently became a mum and is using this special time to wind back her operations to an online presence only via

Screen_Shot_2014-10-02_at_1.25.26_am Liz Anelli is the very happy recipient of a 2015 May Gibbs Trust Fellowship and will spend a month in Adelaide observing, drawing and writing about all its goings-on.

2hrsnorth2 The 2hrsnorth photography book project curated by Dylan Smyth has issued the first two editions. Each book features 2 suburbs of Newcastle. More suburbs will be released in over the rest of the year. If you missed securing your copy via the Pozible campaign, small batches will be available at local stores or via Etsy. Check out the 2hrsnorth – half exhibition at The Project Space from 29 October too.

Screen_Shot_2014-10-02_at_1.41.00_am Lloyd Kellett of One Man’s Trash has been making significant progress on a side project – a bio-mechanical sculpture made from scrap metal. Follow OMT on Facebook or Instagram to see the progress shots and to see the incredible detail of this wonderful 2.3m creation.

In addition to the recent Creative Talks video Trevor Dickinson of Newcastle Productions has been the subject of and ABC Open video project ‘Monster-sized selfie walls putting Newcastle on the map’


Wed 1 October 2014

October Exhibitions & Performance


burial ‘Burial’ at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
Author Courtney Collins will be reading from her book The Burial in a special collaboration between musician Jude Emmett and artist Biddy Maroney. Q&A and book signing after the performance. High Tea included. $25 non-members $20 members.
When: 2pm, Sunday 5 October
Where: Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery , First St, Booragul
Bookings: essential, call 02 4965 8260


fpg ‘Offshoot’ at Four Point Gallery
Inaugural exhibition of collective Tuesdayartsoiree, a fortnightly gathering of local artists who have been meeting over the past 4 years primarily to talk about and make art.
When: until 12 October
Where: Four Point Gallery , 681b Hunter St, Newcastle West
Hours: Thu to Sun, 12-4

IMG_5621 ‘The Mark: a celebration of mark making across genres’ at Süko
Sue Dawes presents a reflective collection of works as a contemplative pause, before returning her own artistic practice and authorship. The final exhibition at Süko Gallery.
When: until 18 October
Where: Süko, Market Square, Mezzanine, 119 Hunter St Mall, Newcastle (btw Morgan & Thorn)
Hours: Wed to Sat 12-2pm

bloodyfist ‘Fistography’ at The Project Space
Featuring the entire extended discography (1994-2004) of cult Newcastle record label Bloody Fist Records alongside various artwork, documents, equipment, photos & related ephemera.
When: 1-11 October
Opening Event: 12-2pm, Saturday 4 October
Where: The Project Space at The Emporium , 185 Hunter Street
Hours: Wed 10-4, Thu 10-5, Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4.

nana ‘Monuments to the Everyman’ at NANA
An exhibition in association with This Is Not Art Festival that acknowledges the ‘every- man’s’ contribution to society and affirms our fundamental right to exist with meaning and purpose.
When: 1-31 October
Opening Event: 2-4pm, Saturday 4 October
Where: NANA, The Emporium, 185 Hunter St, Newcastle
Hours:Wed 10-4, Thu 10-5, Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4

Screen_Shot_2014-10-02_at_12.20.01_am ‘Greenapples’ at The Endz
A first-time solo exhibition by Newcastle photographer Wanjun Carpenter.
When: 2-31 October
Opening Event: Thu 2 October, 6pm-8pm
Where: The Endz, Shop 2, 451 Hunter St, Newcastle
Hours: Tue to Sat, 10-5

LRCflyer ‘Manifest’ at The Project Space
An exhibition and interactive display from The Little River Collective, a group of regional artists who work in photography, paint, wood, media, pencils and film.
When: 15-25 October
Where: The Project Space at The Emporium , 185 Hunter Street
Hours: Wed 10-4, Thu 10-5, Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4.

iceland ‘Iceland Collection’ at Four Point Gallery
A beautiful collection of landscape photography that highlights the stark beauty of the small island nation of Iceland, by John Lechner.
When: 16 October – 2 November
Opening Event: 6-8pm, Saturday 18 October
Where: Four Point Gallery , 681b Hunter St, Newcastle West
Hours: Thu to Sun, 12-4

2nrsnorth ‘2hrsnorth – half’ at The Project Space
An exhibition of prints and books produced by the 2hrsnorth project to create zines of all the suburbs of Newcastle, curated by Dylan Smyth. The exhibition will mark the projects halfway point.
When: 29 October – 8 November
Where: The Project Space at The Emporium , 185 Hunter Street
Hours: Wed 10-4, Thu 10-5, Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4.

LookSee-FreshLicks-550x493 ‘Look See 2014 – Fresh Licks’ at The Lock-Up
The Zookraft crew’s new group exhibition to coincide with LOOK HEAR festival. This year’s theme is music.
When: 31 October – 27 November
Where: The Lock-Up, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle
Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11-3pm


Fri 26 September 2014

Creative Talks with Tess McCabe


Renew Newcastle is happy to announce that graphic designer Tess McCabe will join us for October Creative Talks on Friday 10 October 2014.

Tess McCabe has over 10 years experience providing graphic design and art direction services to clients in the publishing, government, arts and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2009 she began coordinating Creative Women’s Circle and continues to facilitate a dynamic community for women working in creative industries, featuring a regular program of popular events around Australia, a blog rich with informative and inspiring content, books and eBooks, and a database profiling a broad network of Australian creatives.

She has self-published three books to date, with one on the way, and in 2014 formed her independent publishing company Creative Minds.

Friday 10 October 2014
8.30am breakfast and registration
9.00am talk by Tess McCabe

The Lock-Up, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle.

Creative Talks is FREE to attend but you will need to REGISTER to reserve a seat.

Renew Newcastle presents Creative Talks, a series of breakfast lectures by people who are making a living from their creativity. Taking place on a Friday morning each month for three months (beginning July 2013) a well-regarded creative will be invited to speak for 30 minutes about the lessons they have learned growing their art into a commercial success.

This will be followed by an audience Q&A and the opportunity to mingle with local creatives from a wide range of backgrounds. Attendance is free and breakfast (coffee, tea, pastries and fruit) is provided.

Meet, greet and eat at Creative Talks.

Creative Talks is kindly hosted by The Lock-Up.

Breakfast is generously sponsored by The Newcastle Herald.

Filming and editing is generously sponsored by Enigma.

View our last seven Creative Talks on the Renew Newcastle YouTube Channel



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