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A small gift for a big contributor

2 July 2016 | Posted in: News


In comparison to our gratitude for Rod Smith, a small gift was commissioned from Potteryali to mark his retirement from our Board after seven remarkable years.

Rod Smith handed over the chairmanship to Kris Leck earlier this year. Rod has played a pivotal role in the establishment and development of Renew Newcastle.

At the time, a lawyer with Sparke Helmore, his company recognised the value of pro bono work. Rod handled all of the corporate compliance, tax office endorsements, insurance negotiatons and property agreements for Renew from the very beginning.

From the early years, Marcus recalls; “Rod was one of the key founders of Renew Newcastle. Without his support it would not exist. Rod volunteered his insight and services well before we’d even figured out whether Renew was even possible. He went on to become the longest serving Chair of the board. His early dedication is one of the main reasons that Renew Newcastle ever happened.”

His work with Renew was awarded with the City of Newcastle Service Award and is a small representation of his commitment. As a quiet and humble achiever Rod moved on without fanfare, but we would like to acknowledge his dedication to working behind the scenes and his passion for the concept as a major player in Renew’s success.


Creative Achievement Awards

1 July 2016 | Posted in: News

Renew Newcastle was selected as a finalist in the NSW Creative Achievement Awards. These Awards are a NSW Government initiative recognising outstanding achievements that raise the global profile of NSW creative industries. Standing against many Sydney based organisations and individuals, we were proud to represent our regional location, along with one other finalist from Port Macquarie. While not overall winners, being listed among these outstanding achievers is recognition of Renew’s leadership in originality and contribution to raising the global profile of NSW creative industries. It’s a nice string for the bow.

MAKEitMADEit Conference

1 July 2016 | Posted in: News

MAK0007 Renew Newcastle Header Image

International award-winning stonemason, Graham Wilson from Renew store The Carved Greenman will introduce the basics of carved lettering in a masterclass at the MakeitMadeit Conference. Renew graduate Brett Piva, from Pocket Design, is behind the conference. It will deliver both national and international speakers while nurturing precision and excellence in the unique practices of artists and makers. The masterclass, held in our new gallery space The Stage gives an introduction to the skills required to hand carve “V” cut lettering into stone. Graham is an awesome teacher with a true love for his craft. Each participant will receive a sandstone tile and use of a chisel and mallet to produce their own lettering in stone. Book online for the conference and the masterclasses.

Liz Anelli paints the town again

1 July 2016 | Posted in: News

Liz Mural

Liz Anelli has been painting a map mural for the Futura Group in the Earp Gillam Bond Store. As a private commission, we may never see the finished work in situ, however the process has been filmed by local documentary maker Moz Waters using time-lapse footage. It will become part of a mini documentary about Liz called Illustrating Newcastle.

Moz is creating a larger work about the creative sub-culture of Newcastle. He was attracted by the idea that Liz’s work is not just innovative and creative but practical as well. When finished, the video will appear on his Vimeo page. Meanwhile visit the page to enjoy the stories of other local artists including another Renewer, Dale Collier.


Liz also has another picture book coming out on 29 August. It’s called One Photo by author Ross Watkins and published by Penguin Radom House. A launch event is being planned for September 10th at Watt Space Gallery, Auckland Street in partnership with Hunter Alzheimer’s Australia as part of Dementia Awareness Month.

Growing young ‘fine artists’

1 July 2016 | Posted in: News

Andrew's kids

When looking for the right children to participate in an art class with Saretta Fielding, the Newcastle Art Gallery selected Renew graduate, Andrew Dennis’ students. Selected for their art knowledge and abilities, the students worked along-side local aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding as part of the current exhibition Black White and Restive. Saretta helped these fine young ‘fine artists’ to each have a painting on display at the Newcastle Art Gallery and the children have been invited to return on August 6 to speak about their paintings at a public event. Andrew continues to run classes and holiday workshops at The Art Project and work from his commercially rented premises in Market Square.