History of the Society
The first meetings of a few people working in this art form began in 1970 at a modest venue in Southport with the view to offer sculptors a point of contact where problems related to sculpture could be discussed. The very first exhibitions in the seventies were conducted at the ‘Eight Bells Gallery’ owned by John Cooper in Surfers Paradise. When Mr Cooper passed away, the Society moved its annual members' exhibitions to The Centre Gallery at Evandale in 1987, and in honour of this great benefactor of the arts, established the 'John Cooper Memorial Award' as a perpetual trophy to the winner of first prize in the Annual Members'Exhibition. A further trophy award for second prize was added later in honour of past member Tony Palmer.
In the Eighties the Society acquired the premises at Benowa at the corner of Ashmore Road and Carrara Street. Thanks to the continued support of the Gold Coast Council a heritage-listed building, the Old Benowa State Schoolhouse, was first used as workrooms and later transformed into the Society’s Gallery for their exhibitions.
The Schoolhouse Gallery is now a well-appointed lovely old heritage building with
- an exhibition space of 100 square metres,
- a newly-renovated kitchenette for catering of functions,
- wheelchair access via a ramp
- new multi-purpose toilet block
- garden and seating area outside.
The Schoolhouse Gallery and kitchen is avalaible to artists and art groups for hire at very moderate rates - contact us at this website for details.
In the early eighties the Schoolhouse had to be moved a short distance to make way for widening of Ashmore Road, and a new building was erected by Council serving as workrooms for the Society’s members, classes and students, and taking into consideration our special needs like the placing of machines, kilns, workbenches etc. It houses both the Sculptors’ Society and the Potters’ Association side by side.
The site was later named the Gold Coast Potters & Sculptors Corner and officially opened in a naming ceremony by the Mayor Gary Baildon in 1998.
In 1989 the Society was given additional premises at Mudgeeraba (Mudgeeraba Road, opposite Milky Way) allowing them to expand their activities and attract greater public interest. Sited on an acreage block housing other cultural organizations such as the Potters Association, Woodturners, Car clubs and Heritage Museum, these premises have been operating for more than 20 years as a thriving sculpture school where sculpture and clay classes for Society and community members are taught by multi-award-winning ceramic artist and sculptor Midge Johansen.
For information on Sculpture Classes and Tuition by our experienced members, visit the information page for Classes in this website.