Esteemed gallery curator, Niomi Sands, is saying goodbye after 10 long years at the helm at the Port Macquarie Glasshouse.
Carefully spending hours in the gallery bring well known and upcoming artists to town, she has done an extraordinary job, making the role, her own.
“I can still remember my first day, but back in those days we were not in the beautiful big building on Clarence Street,” Ms Sands said.
“I am certainly taking away fond memories and remembering all of the many extraordinary things we were able to achieve during my time.
“Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists from around the world and bring some incredible installations to Port Macquarie.
“We have been able to bring in a wide range of touring exhibitions and I have worked with some fantastic local artists to really help them develop.”
Ms Sands said she is passionate about fostering community spirit and ingenuity when it comes to the exhibitions at the Glasshouse.
“I really made a point to showcase and highlight the work of local and emerging artists, as well as bring the world renowned artists to town,” she said.
“I think it is so important that people in Port Macquarie don’t have to travel to Sydney or other capital cities to be able to experience art and culture but it is just as vital to support and help local artists and community groups.
“One of the joyous parts of my job is helping artists in local community groups realise their dreams and help assist them in any way I can.
“It has been really fantastic to be able to see all the local art groups grow in both memberships and in their exhibitions.”
Glasshouse venue manager, Pam Milne said Ms Sands contribution to the community have been outstanding and she will be missed.
“Niomi’s contribution over the past ten years has been outstanding, her professionalism, dedication and her commitment to the arts and our community has been a huge asset to the Glasshouse,” Ms Milne said.
“Her passion for the arts has been infectious and she has taken us all on a journey of understanding and discovery about what the arts can be to our community.”
Ms Milne said Ms Sands has changed the gallery and opened the community up to the possibilities art can have on a person.
“From artist talks to workshops, professional development for artists to craft and cocktails – and the mid north coast showcase Northern Exposure biennial – there has been something for every skill level and age,” she said.
“The Glasshouse Regional Gallery is a much-loved community facility due to her work and the team of staff and volunteers she has led.
“Our loss is Grafton’s gain, she leaves some big shoes to fill but we wish her all the best in the years to come.”
Glasshouse volunteer Jackie Deane said working closely with Ms Sands has been a pleasure.
“I can still remember when I first met Niomi and she has just done some really great things for the gallery,” Ms Deane said.
“I think we are all going to miss her so much.”
Ms sands leaves Port Macquarie to take up the role of gallery director with the Grafton Regional Gallery.