Building Creative Places

HOTA Gallery facade

Building Creative Places was a cultural sector seminar focussing on community engagement and infrastructure projects.

An informative line-up of industry professionals explored topics including local community engagement during a major gallery build; artistic practice working alongside infrastructure; the development and construction of a new remote Queensland arts and cultural centre; and funding and building a new gallery in a local government context.

Date: 4 June 2021, 12.30pm – 4.30pm + gallery tours
HOTA Gallery, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise


  • Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery and Visual Arts, HOTA Home of the Arts
  • Lisa Sorbie Martin, Gold Coast Artist, Torres Strait Islander woman, renowned for her textiles, prints, sculptures and public art projects in conversation with Bradley Vincent, Curator, HOTA Home of the Arts
  • Nickeema Williams, Manager, Woorabinda Arts and Cultural Centre
  • Brett Adlington, CEO, Museums and Galleries of NSW
  • Panel discussion moderated by Ineke Dane, Senior Curator, UAP (Urban Art Projects)

Nickeema Williams, Lisa Sorbie Martin, Brett Adlington and Bradley Vincent at Building Creative Places Seminar. Photo: Jo-Anne Driessens.

Who the seminar was for

Building Creative Places was aimed at gallery and museum staff and volunteers, local government staff, artists, arts workers, cultural planners and consultants and anyone thinking about capital upgrades in the cultural sphere.


Tracy Cooper-Lavery headshot
Tracy Cooper-Lavery. Photo supplied.

Tracy Cooper-Lavery

Director, Gallery and Visual Arts, HOTA Home of the Arts
Building Creative Communities

In sub-tropical parklands with the Surfers Paradise skyline as the backdrop, HOTA Home of the Arts is where art meets life. Evolving from a regional arts centre into a dynamic contemporary cultural precinct, HOTA has been crafted by a tenacious community and ambitious local government. 

In a once in a generation project, the doors will open soon on the new HOTA Gallery, a $60.5 million home to international exhibitions and the city’s art collection. 

But who are we to presume that if we build a cultural precinct that people will come? The Gold Coast is a place not usually recognised for art and culture. Our theme parks and tourist attractions have been wonderful at driving tremendous experiences. But these are commercial experiences, and our collective identity has evolved from this. In an economy of amazing and fun experiences, how do we stand out? Or more importantly, how do we connect and belong? How do we reimagine popular culture?

This discussion exploreed where we have come from and where we want to go as part of HOTA’s evolution into a place that locals love and visitors must come and see – a place where art meets life.

Lisa Sorbie Martin. Photo: Jo-Anne Driessens

Lisa Sorbie Martin

Gold Coast Artist

Lisa Sorbie Martin was recently commissioned by HOTA Gallery to create a new artwork for SOLID GOLD: Artists from paradise, the gallery’s opening exhibition. The result is Eternè (2021), a light-based sculpture that now hangs suspended in the new HOTA Gallery foyer.

In this conversation, Lisa joined exhibition Curator Bradley Vincent to discuss the commissioning process, how her Torres Strait Islander culture informs her practice, and how the artwork relates to the new gallery space. They also discussed the curator/artist working relationship and the process of developing an artwork for a yet-to-be-built gallery.

Nickeema Williams. Photo supplied.

Nickeema Williams

Manager, Woorabinda Arts and Cultural Centre
From Small Beginnings

The recent launch of the first stage of the Woorabinda Arts and Cultural Centre was an exciting milestone and first for the First Nations community of Woorabinda and Central Queensland. Supported by Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (CQRASN), artists in the region now have a dedicated art gallery and workshop space in which to create, showcase and retail their work. Strong commitment, connections and consultation with the local community has led all decision-making and planning for the new Centre. The progression of the project from late 2018 is a journey of passion, dedication and unwavering vision.

Brett Adlington headshot
Brett Adlington. Photo supplied.

Brett Adlington

CEO, Museums and Galleries of NSW
Determining Cultural Need

Cultural infrastructure projects are currently booming in NSW – primarily as a result of the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund. 

However, new cultural facilities are not built on money alone. They rely on years of planning, lobbying and developing political intuition. However, a key element to ensuring a project’s success is ensuring the community (generally) is on board. 

This talk looked at some of the planning that Lismore Regional Gallery went through to get its project off the ground, and what was done to bring the community along on the journey.

Ineke Dane headshot
Ineke Dane. Photo supplied.

Ineke Dane

UAP Urban Art Projects

Ineke Dane is an award winning curator currently based in Brisbane, Australia. She has a background in contemporary art theory, law, policy, photography and journalism; these disciplines inform her practice. Ineke currently works with UAP Urban Art Projects, a global leader in the fields of contemporary public art, design and architecture.

Ineke moderated the panel discussion.


Presentations were recorded and will be available soon.


Museums & Galleries Queensland logo
HOTA logo
Australian Government Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy logo

Building Creative Places is presented in partnership by Museums & Galleries Queensland and HOTA Home of the Arts, and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.


Training & Professional Development team

Museums & Galleries Queensland

Empty chairs on a stage with M&G QLD banner
Review Site
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