Yarraville artist Erika Gofton, part of the passionate team behind The Art Room, tells Benjamin Millar the new Footscray space offers a world of exciting opportunities …
What is your connection with Yarraville?
I have lived off and on in Yarraville for the last 16 years, but have been here permanently for the last six.
I had my personal studio at the Yarraville Community Centre for a couple of years, and The Art Room essentially started at Yarraville community centre about eight years ago.
What do you love most about the area? What would you change?
I love everything about it!
The sense of community and the fact it feels almost like living in a country town, but only 10 minutes from the city.
I love the great restaurants and cafes, and best of all The Sun Theatre.
I would change the trucks on the roads.
What are your favourite local cafés or eateries?
My absolute favourite café is the Feedback café in Ballarat Street.
It is like my home away from home! I also love Bopha Devi and Back Alley Sally’s.
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about art and art education and its power to connect, communicate and engage.
I am passionate about creating something, whether it be in my artwork or with my business, that connects with people deeply.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?
I think essentially I am inspired by other creatives, who are driven to give to the world in a positive, generous and unique way regardless of financial gain.
I am very lucky to be surrounded by a lot of such people.
What is your vision for The Art Room’s new home?
Our vision is to contribute to the inner west’s really exciting renewal and development, and play a part in the wonderful community we live in.
The new purpose-built art studio will enable us to create more exciting art experiences, be more inventive in our classes and workshops, and employ more wonderful teachers and life models.
We have a vision of opening up our programs to include free art talks and workshops, and panel discussions where you can hear top Melbourne artists discuss their practices and careers.
We want to provide life-drawing unlike anything previously offered in Melbourne. It will also open up the opportunity to become a pop-up theatre and performance space and venue for exhibitions.
The Pozible crowdfunding campaign to create The Art Room’s new studio closes Friday. Details: pozible.com/project/204417