Canopy Art Centre at 124 Grafton St, an expansive 1000 square metre building (formerly the beloved Grafton Arts to local residents) has been reborn under the wing of its new proprietors Theo Tremblay and Paloma Ramos. Dedicated to showcasing the work of Far North Qld artists in the mediums of printmaking, painting and sculpture, working from Cairns to as far afield as Pormpuraaw, Hopevale and the Torres Straits, a new approach at Canopy has been to showcase the art of both indigenous and non-indigenous practitioners in the one space.
Housed in the Canopy building is Editions Tremblay Print Workshop, a fine art printmaking studio, where artists can work on linocuts, etchings, lithographs, relief printing, screenprints and monoprints with Master Printer Theo Tremblay, a pioneer of collaborative printmaking and publishing of Aboriginal and Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) artists. Works created in the workshop have been acquired by major galleries and museums in Australia and internationally.
The large front gallery space at Canopy is available for artists to hire on a weekly basis for their exhibitions at very competitive rates. Most artists hire the gallery for a month with sometimes two artists sharing.
One of the most rewarding outcomes since the re-launch of Canopy Art Centre is the newly-formed partnership between Canopy and the Indigenous art centre of Pormpuraaw, located west of Cape York. Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre has its own permanent gallery at Canopy, with changing exhibitions to showcase the work being produced in their communities. Beautiful sculptures carved in wood or made from re-cycled materials, large, small, bright and abstract or traditionally inspired paintings, a large selection of prints and traditional cabbage palm string bags and baskets are on offer. On display is the largest collection of “Ghostnet” sculpture and weavings in Australia.