As Director of the Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre, I’m very proud to be one of the six directors who gave Melanie Gibson the opportunity to become our manager.
Melanie joined the Hopevale Arts and Culture Centre as an administrator seven years ago, and has now successfully transitioned to the role of manager five years later.
Melanie is a Bulgun Warra & Binthi Warra single mother from Hopevale’s Guugu Yimidhirr nation who has a vested interest in the community, and its people. I believe this has prompted her tenacious progress which has been recognised by major galleries, the National Museum of Australia and many more. Last year the Hopevale Art Centre won the title of Best Art Centre at CIAF 2019, with one of our artists winning an opportunity for a residency with other great artists.
The Centre was growing quite slowly for many years until Melanie took the reins, and last year the Centre turned a small a profit which it hasn’t seen in at least a decade. Melanie’s intuition to expand into different mediums and introduce external partnerships has been very successful. Hopevale artists primarily showcase their cultural stories and sites of significance in their pieces. However at request from the NMA to produce the Bama story of Cook’s visit, light boxes became a slight contemporary deviation which artists took in their stride to produce.
The Guugu Yimidhirr people are the people who Cook met when he landed at Whalambal birri (Endeavour River) on Waymburr country (Cooktown). This year the National Trust Australia Queensland will start a refurbishment of the James Cook Museum in Cooktown and the designs from our artists will adorn the walls of the new Indigenous room alongside narratives of the Guugu Yimidhirr people.
Harold Ludwick, Hopevale Arts and Culture Centre, Director
Melanie’s intuition to expand into different mediums and introduce external partnerships has been very successful.Harold Ludwick
Main image credit: Melanie Gibson Manager Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre. Image: Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre