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UMI Arts to launch 2024 exhibition series with You & Me

Phoebe Blogg -

Launching its 2024 season of exhibitions on Friday 15 March, UMI Arts is commencing the year with the official opening of its annual member showcase, titled You & Me.

Featuring 30 new artworks from 15 First Nations artists across various mediums, the You & Me exhibition aims to shine a spotlight on artists located across Far North Queensland from Babinda, Cairns and Yarrabah to Mossman, Normanton, and the Torres Strait Islands.

UMI Arts Exhibition Officer, Robyne Pacey, said You & Me is an annual group members exhibition showcasing the rich artistic diversity in the First Nations art and culture in Far North Queensland.

"UMI is a Creole word that means "you and me". This is significant because we must work together to keep our culture strong, and from an exhibition perspective, You & Me encapsulates UMI Arts' mission and philosophy - providing artists with support and pathways to create art of an exhibition standard," Ms Pacey said.

Green Water Swamp by Dorothy Edwards. (Image: Colyn Huber, Lovegreen Photography)

Ms Pacey said the quality of work featured in this year's exhibition is outstanding, urging anyone interested in expanding their collection or investing in their first piece of Indigenous art to attend the opening.

"When artists talk to their artwork and share culture and stories with visitors and guests, a meaningful exchange occurs, and the overall experience becomes special and memorable," she said.

Ahead of the exhibition opening, UMI Arts hosted a small media preview yesterday in Manoora. The event provided artists the opportunity to showcase and discuss their work with the media ahead of the exhibition's public opening.

"While many of our participating artists do not live locally, we will host a small group at our opening event," Pacey said earlier this month.

Gindaja by Kevin Edmondstone. (Image: Colyn Huber, Lovegreen Photography)

Established in 2005, UMI Arts is the leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland.

This area extends north of Cairns to include the Torres Strait Islands, south to Cardwell, west to Camooweal and includes the Gulf of Carpentaria and Mt Isa regions.

Currently servicing more than 1000 members, UMI Arts is a not-for-profit company managed by an all-Indigenous Board of Directors.

With a mission to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in participating in maintaining, preserving, and protecting cultural identity, the 2024 exhibition series is bound to showcase a wealth of new, established and emerging First Nations artists.

You & Me 2024 exhibiting artists are:

Solace BARNABY, Trish BARNARD (Yambina), Wayne CONNOLLY (Kuku Yalanji and Kuku Taipan; Yarrabah Art Centre), Holly DOUGLAS, Kaissia DICK (Kuku Yalanji), Kevin EDMONDSTONE (Yidinji), Dorothy EDWARDS (Kokoberrin, Cape York Peninsula), Chloe MCGILVARY (Kurtijar), Lisa MICHL KO-MANGGEN (Kokoberrin, Cape York Peninsula), Rhys MILES (Kuku Yalanji, Gungandki & Butchulla), Anzak NEWMAN (Western Torres Strait Islands & Wulgurukaba), Napoleon OUI (Djabugay), Kassandra SAVAGE (Waanyi and Kurtijar), Taheega SAVAGE (Waanyi and Kurtijar) and Gwen THOMAS.

You & Me 2024 is open to the public from 15 March to 10 May and can be viewed from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm at UMI Arts, 4 Jensen Plaza Gallery, 1 Jensen Street, Manoora.

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