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Emerald Arts

Property Donor: GPT

Shop 2, 196 Hunter St

Emma Louise Stronach (Emmeline) is a 29 year old, fourth generation Novocastrian. She runs a small small business which sells educational art and craft kits, as well as custom made plush toys and original artworks. She also runs a weekly market stall at the Farmer’s Markets with her friends…

What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle?

My home city of Newcastle was founded on central industry. That’s what propelled it from convict settlement to major Australian metropolis.

Then, however, the Steel industry collapsed so we had to change things. Newcastle thought harder about the future because it to reinvent itself totally.

In the gigantic space that Industry used to occupy, we now have movements like Renew Newcastle (or RENEWcastle as a friend of mine calls it), festivals, Farmer’s Markets and awesome restaurants like Paymasters and the Gourmet Goose.

When the opportunity came up for me to be involved in a project which actively set about rejuvenating the city centre, I had to apply. I’m fascinated by the process of change itself, so to witness this first hand is fascinating.

…Lucky for me, my proposal was accepted, and now Emerald Arts is a part of this future thinking initiative.

What are you doing in your new space?

At Emerald Arts I am to encourage community involvement in the project by running a series of holiday and after school art classes, as well as zine making workshops and an Anti-Scrapbooking society for adults on Tuesday evenings.

Artworks created in the shop will also be collaborative, with customers able to watch the artist as their sculptures and artworks are created and provide input as to how they will turn out. Besides my own paintings and sculptures, also on display are works by local artisans and crafters.

A section of the Emerald Arts shop is devoted to a revolving display of works by local artists and crafters. For a week long period at a time a bookcase and wall is given over to display (and sell) arts and creations by our city’s diverse talent.

Tell us about the space…

Previously the shop housed a jewelry store and after that a souvenir shop. As the shop is to be my workspace, a section is devoted to display of artistic influences, there is also a daybed where people can chill out and read zines, and other artists will be dropping by occasionally to demonstrate how they go about the business of creating things.

I love the space. It’s cozy, it’s not quite a shop or a gallery or a studio… it’s an amalgamation of these things.

Contact Emerald Arts directly about future workshops and classes, including the school holiday program [email protected]