Mr Speaker, over the weekend I had the privilege and the pleasure of attending the celebration of a most fantastic milestone for a cultural cornerstone in my local area.
That was the 10-year anniversary of the Ripples Community Art Centre, Mr Speaker. Just a little over 10 years ago, the Ripples Community Art Centre was born, specifically in small garage by Dave, his wife Judie, and their friend Pam.
Great stories often have humble beginnings, Mr Speaker. This humble trio of eager artists was given quite a considerable undertaking. To paint Mosaics on several drains all around Lochiel Park.
Their mission became not only to embark upon their own artistic ventures, but to engage other people in the arts all around Lochiel Park. A mosaicking workshop would soon follow in their garage, followed by many more workshops and various field trips together as a community.
They had left an artistic footprint in the local community, Mr Speaker, and would receive a $2000 grant from council to continue their fantastic work in the community.
A couple of years later, they had secured access to a gym to expand their growing passion. In 2014, the Ripples Art Community officially become incorporated, officially becoming Ripples Community Arts Inc, a name we are most familiar with today.
After 7 years, Ripples Community Arts Inc had mosaicked 27 drains. No small feat, Mr Speaker. Their workshops have grown immensely since their humble beginnings 10 years ago.
The Ripples Community Art Centre now resembles a small village of workshops, which have ranged to everything from basket making, ceramics, drawing, quilting, welding and even blacksmith forging. They even had an American Physicist come in and run a workshop on holograms, Mr Speaker.
There is no artistic endeavour to extreme, too fringe or too hard that the Ripples will not aspire to.
Ripples Community Arts had their first SALA exhibition in 2015, hosted in someone else’s garage, with only around 9-10 people visiting. Their last SALA exhibition was in Brookside Cellar with almost 40 people visiting, which simply shows the outstanding growth that they have accomplished Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, Ripples Community Arts Inc has shown outstanding community engagement and has, in return, seen unwavering commitment from it’s members.
They have a truly outstanding set up now. When I was there over the weekend, Mr Speaker, I saw a kiln shed, a bronze casting and forging area, a sculpture, and ceramics area and so much more that would take a more artistic person to truly understand Mr Speaker.
They host paints and textile groups, picture framing groups, anything you can really imagine, Mr Speaker. They now boast 107 members.
They have carefully crafted their identity and have undeniably earnt their place as a recognized cultural cornerstone in my local community.