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HOTA Gallery is now officially open

Welcome the $60.5 million beauty.

HOTA Gallery Exterior (image supplied)

It’s the moment the arts community, and indeed the public of the Gold Coast have been waiting a little while for (drum roll) the shiny new Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gallery is now open! And what a great complement to an already incredible arts precinct this is going to be!

While the tickets to access the gallery this weekend were already sold out, the opening weekend is set to make you excited. There will be artworks both indoors and out that celebrate the diversity, richness and ambition of the Gold Coast. Coinciding with live music across both the Saturday and Sunday daytimes, the experience — even for those without access to the gallery (for now) — is set to be a great one-off experience still.

On Saturday 8th May, the music program will serve as a vibrant soundtrack to the buzz of excitement and anticipation at the Gallery and its surroundings. Music will kick off from 11am to 3.30pm with a line up on the Outdoor Stage featuring the fiery instrumentation from Hussy Hicks, dreamy psych-pop from Echo Wave, the colourful sounds of Samba, Bossa Nova from Augusta Street, the hip hop and traditional rhythms from young First Nations band, Jarulah and Blackline Band and the funky, disco vibes from DJ Felix.

On Sunday 9th May, you’re encouraged to experience ‘Echoes of Gold’, featuring performances by: Eliza & The Delusionals, Donny Love, DENNIS. and DJ sets by VICES to name a few. All hosted by Kate Baggerson and Zac Fahey, with live on-stage interviews with artists, musos, and industry movers & shakers, the line-up will be nothing short of exciting.

HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)
HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)

And to amplify that local Gold Coast flavour, even more, The Design Collective Markets will be on-site showcasing a selection of Gold Coast and Queensland artisan makers and retailers for a pop-up market of boutique wares and gifts! Not forgetting the mix of food trucks/outlets, local beers, it’s lining up to be solid Sunday in our eyes. On a picnic blanket or standing with a cold one in hand — either way, it’s an unmissable Gold Coast event.

If you did secure tickets to the opening, in the opening exhibition, titled Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise, be sure to keep an eye out for local artist Aaron Chapman’s inclusion — we have it on good authority it will be big and bright! You simply can’t miss it.

Internationally, the Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection exhibition (13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022) will be showcased in the new 1000m2 main exhibition gallery a stunning space featuring approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists including Andy Warhol.

And if you decide to hold off on visiting the Gallery until after Friday 14th May, you can then check out the incredible new Palette Restaurant and Exhibitionist Bar. Both of which where you will find deftly put-together food and tantalising cocktails await with enigmatic views of our skyline and hinterland.

The Gold Coast art scene is set to flourish, folks!

Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Opening weekend – Saturday 8 May & Sunday 9 May 2021

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat works coming to the Coast

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1985 © Lizzie Himmel. Artwork © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Things just keep getting better around here Gold Coasters.

First, we were allowed out of our homes, next we were gifted quite a few exciting new venues, then we could dance again and now, a world-class art gallery, the largest public gallery outside of a capital city in Australia. Look at us go!

Let’s dive straight into that last thing shall we. Yes, it’s Home of the Arts long-awaited gallery (called HOTA Gallery) and it’s set to open on April 10th in 2021. It will span six levels and will present a jam-packed program of world premiere international exhibitions, Australian exclusives and new commissions, all of which celebrate artists from across Australia and the world.

We are quite literally jumping up and down with excitement!

HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

HOTA Gallery will launch with Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise (10th April to the 20th June 2021) and it will be presented across the Gallery and the HOTA parklands, and feature major new commissions and art work by emerging and established Australian artists with a connection to the region, including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Abbey McCulloch, Samuel Leighton-Dore and Libby Harward.

Celebrating the diversity and richness of the Gold Coast, the exhibition will feature sculpture, painting, video, photography and installations, both indoors and out.

In a world premiere exhibition exclusive to the Gold Coast and Australia, HOTA Gallery will present Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection (13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022) featuring approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists.

Keith Haring 1985 © Jeannette Montgomery Barron / Trunk Archive

Get excited to see in your own backyard works from Jean-Michel Basquiat (largely recognised as boosting the prevalence of graffiti artists into galleries), Andy Warhol (a man who needs no introduction, but just in case… uber famous for leading the pop art movement with his Campbell Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe works), Keith Haring (a pop artist who advocated safe sex and raised AIDS awareness in the 80s), Richard Prince (most recently known as the Instagram artist) and Jeff Koons (a sculptor most famous for his Balloon Dog sculptures).

It’s the first time these incredible works will have been shown in Australia and we are so grateful to the Gold Coast team at HOTA who have been working tirelessly to put this amazing collection together.

SOLID GOLD_Hiromi Hotel - Brain Flower

The inaugural exhibition in the new dedicated Children’s Gallery is World Upside Down (10 April – 10 October 2021). Working with Queensland artists Lowana Skye-Davies and Alinta Krauth, the Children’s Gallery will be an immersive space filled with interactive art and hands-on making activities, inspired by the themes found in the first two major exhibitions, Solid Gold and Lyrical Landscapes.

Alongside the premiere exhibitions presented in the main space, HOTA Gallery will also present works from the $32 million City Collection. Consisting of more than 4,400 artworks (who new we had that many in storage waiting for our eyes to feast on?), the collection includes one the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in regional Australia.

So that’s a lot of epic things already and there’s plenty more to come (ie rooftop bar anyone?), stay tuned for more information as further exhibitions are announced. What an epic time to be a Gold Coaster.

LOCATION: 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall
WHEN: 10th  April 2021

Artist Impression of the HOTA Gallery (image supplied)
Artist Impression of the HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

Tracy Cooper-Lavery

Tracy Cooper-Lavery (image supplied)
Tracy Cooper-Lavery (image supplied)

You would have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard that HOTA is opening a brand new Gallery in May. With it, will fine-dining restaurant Palette, and of course a Rooftop Bar, appropriately named – The Exhibitionist’s Bar. To say we are excited, would be an understatement. In preparation for the highly-anticipated opening, we spoke with the Director of HOTA Gallery, the talented Tracy Cooper-Lavery. She gives us an insight into her career to date, along with what’s to come from the opening of the HOTA Gallery.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
Even though I have moved around a lot, the Goldie has always felt like my real home. I grew up here in the ‘70s, started my career here in the ‘90s and have been settled here for the last 5 years. I was always back for holidays too as my grandparents and parents are proud GC locals!

Tell us a bit about your career to date.
I was so fortunate to begin my career on the Gold Coast. Fran Cummings, the first Director of Gold Coast City Gallery took a punt on me and gave me my first job as the Curatorial Assistant. She literally threw me in the deep end and in my first week put me in charge of overseeing a large exhibition of bark paintings and sculptures from Arnhem Land that was arriving along with many of the artists, some who had never left their communities of Maningrida and Ramingining! After eight years, I moved onto the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2000 and then as Director at Rockhampton Art Gallery in 2011, until 2016 when I came back for my dream job as Director at HOTA Gallery.

Samuel Leighton-Dore, Cloud-Drive (2021). SOLID GOLD Artists from Paradise, HOTA Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist.
Samuel Leighton-Dore, Cloud-Drive (2021). SOLID GOLD Artists from Paradise, HOTA Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist.

What career achievement are you most proud of?
That’s a no-brainer – the opening of HOTA Gallery on 8 May! I feel so invested in this project and have been part of the development of the Gallery since it began in 2016. After so many years working in the former gallery spaces and having an intimate knowledge of the City art collection, I know how important this project is for the Gold Coast and for the arts in Australia.

What excites you the most about the art scene here on the Gold Coast?
We have so many incredibly talented and resilient artists working on the Gold Coast and the scene continues to grow at a rapid pace. There are great artist-run initiatives like The Walls at Miami and Generate GC which supports the development of new site-specific work by emerging artists. An exhibition like SOLID GOLD has been a great way for HOTA to amplify the work of Gold Coast practitioners and elevate their practice to a national audience.

What impact do you think the HOTA Gallery will have on the Gold Coast community?
The Gallery will be a game-changer for the Gold Coast and for cultural tourism locally. It provides the first significant seven-days-a-week offer at the Precinct (except for HOTA cinema of course!) and will present local through to international exhibitions. Who would have thought you would see a major exhibition featuring Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons – right here on the Goldie! The Gallery really brings together all of the aspects of the cultural precinct and provides more opportunity to spend a day with us. Take in some art, have a swim in the lake, catch a film or some comedy and finish your day off with sunset drinks in The Exhibitionist Bar on Level 5.

HOTA Gallery Exterior (image supplied)

What are you looking forward to the most about the HOTA Gallery opening?
The opportunity to present aspects of the HOTA collection in international standard exhibition galleries for the first time. Many of the works you will see when we open have never been shown publicly or not for many years. There will be some treasured favourites, as well as some stunning recent acquisitions to enjoy. Be sure to also check out our viewing window above the collection store to get a sense of the behind-the-scenes world of the Gallery!

If you had to pick one piece from the upcoming ‘SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise’ exhibition, which would be your favourite?
That’s tough, it’s like your children; you aren’t supposed to have favourites! What I do love is that there is such a diverse range of ages, careers and mediums on display. There are paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, digital projections, outdoor works, immersive rooms, augmented reality mixed with ceramics, robotic sunrises and crystals! I think there are plenty of favourites!

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: I love dropping to Bumbles at Budds Beach or Bam Bam Bakehouse at Mermaid
Coffee spot: Hot Shott Café at Main Beach, Urban Monkey at Bundall or Merlo Coffee at The Brickworks in Southport
Restaurant: Currently Etsu Izakaya or Mr Kojima; but soon to be Palette at HOTA Gallery
Bar or pub for a drink: The Exhibitionist Bar at HOTA Gallery

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
At the moment I don’t stray far from home on the weekends. I have spent so much time at work, I like to hibernate and spend time with the family. If we do venture out, it’s usually to the beach, to Rosser Park for a dog walk or a drive up into the glorious hinterland.

Entice your sensory ‘Palette’ with a sophisticated dining experience

Palette Restaurant located on the Ground Level of HOTA Render (image supplied)
Interior render of Palette Restaurant, Ground Level of the Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)

You may have heard the exciting news that Gallery at HOTA is set to open on Saturday 8th May. Along with it, a new rooftop bar, the Exhibitionist Bar will also be unveild, which will be the perfect chance to grab a cocktail or two from its elevated deck with unparalleled views of the hinterland — after taking in some art, of course. But it gets better. HOTA has now also enthusiastically disclosed an equally incredible space to tantalise your taste buds. Behold – Palette Restaurant!

Much like the gallery itself, Palette aims to impress and captivate its guests with a modern Australian menu, a fully curated wine list, degustation menus inspired by the major exhibitions all whilst having the capacity for up to 120 people with indoor and veranda seating options available. *chefs kiss*

It appears the art (and food) scene here on the Gold Coast is about to jump up into an entirely different gear.

Leading the kitchen is Chef Dayan Harthill-Law. Dayan is no stranger to fine food establishments; stints at The Star, Press Club, Dinner by Heston, Vanitas and Quay (often voted Australia’s best restaurant) should undoubtedly cement his culinary pedigree and assure us of the deliciousness we can look forward to.

“You can expect all the great aspects of fine dining, fresh local, high-quality produce with amazing provenance, knowledgeable staff but without any stuffy bow ties or waistcoats,” said Dayan.

Exterior of Palette Restaurant located on the Ground Level of HOTA Render (image supplied)
Exterior render of Palette Restaurant, Ground Level of the Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)

“Nautical seafood bonito cooked in native ginger leaf, or dry-aged Burrawong Gaian duck with sauce of rosella and fermented riberry are just a sample of what you will see on our main menu along with delicious desserts featuring local distillery caramel, rich cream,” he said. Sounds very fancy to us!

The menu will make vegans and vegetarians feel entirely welcome also — “Palette will also boast an extensive vegetarian menu featuring enticing starters of Vegan Clouds, Beetroot tartlets, and Oxheart tomato tartare as well as an indulgent main menu consisting of House-made silken tofu with Watermelon radish, Blue Quandong, Native tamarind, Lemon myrtle and Grilled Oyster mushroom glazed in mushroom miso Purslane, sorrel, flowers,” he said. A veggie mouthful indeed.

The sophisticated new venue, influenced by Australian painter William Robinson’s stunning artwork, The Rainforest, will subtly align elements from this artwork and showcase inspiration incorporated into the dining space.

HOTA Head of Culinary Arts, David Ashford says “The Rainforest provided plenty of inspiration and will tie both The Exhibitionist Bar and Palette into the design of the building”.

“We’re excited because the dining scene is evolving on the Gold Coast, and we are looking forward to being a part of this space where quality food and flavours take the front of house,” he said.

We’re excited too David, we’re excited too.

Where: Gallery at HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Hours: TBA

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
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