2002 - 2006
"Contemporary art space and education Inc." (c.a.s.e.) was founded in 2002 by six professional artists based in the Northern Rivers:
Christine Willcocks, Susan Davidson, Liz Deckers, Robyn Sweaney, Suzanna Pohlen and Rochelle Summerfield.
At that time, they took over the running of the Piece Gallery in Mullumbimby’s CBD with a charter to exhibit innovative and high-quality contemporary art to the community in the regionally isolated Northern Rivers.
c.a.s.e. @ the Piece Gallery ran for 5 successful years with work by artists that included John Dahlsen, James Guppy and Qld artists Linda Ault and Chez Baker and a show by Chris Coffey a visiting international artist from New York. Community exhibitions included Postcards from Mullumbimby, an annual and popular event.
2006 - 2012
In 2006 the members of c.a.s.e. wished to concentrate their efforts in different directions, including their own artistic practices, and so the Piece Gallery was taken over by Nadine Abenseur as the commercial art gallery: Art Piece Gallery.
The c.a.s.e. members, not wanting to disband their organisation, began to look for local artists willing to come on board and inject some fresh ideas and energy. Around the same time three emerging local artists, Belinda Paton, Leonie Jackson and Romy Dingle, had formed an artists’ run initiative based around their independent art studios at Station Street Studios in Mullumbimby. It seemed a perfect match for c.a.s.e. and the Station Street Studios artists came on board as new members of c.a.s.e.
With this new energy, community exhibitions and art events were planned including a new and exciting environmental exhibition planned in conjunction with Byron Shire Council and Landcare to celebrate World Environment Day in June 2006. The annual performative c.a.s.e. installation at the Mullumbimby Music Festival also came into being with the addition of artist Kylie Stoddard to the committee.
2013 - 2022
In 2012 the c.a.s.e. committee underwent its next change with Belinda Paton and Romy Dingle moving on to new artistic endeavours and local artists Travis Paterson, Colleen DaRosa, Annique Goldenberg and Leanne Haugh joining. In 2013 the c.a.s.e. community postcard exhibition was revived coming full circle historically to be hosted by Art Piece Gallery. The etching press was also reconditioned and rehoused in Mullumbimby and a print studio developed which was opened for Associate Members use in 2014. A primary focus at this time was to build the stability and vitality of c.a.s.e. inc over the next few years so that it would be able to introduce new initiatives from a sound financial and operational basis.
A vibrant new committee with the creative energy of old and new members came onto the scene in 2016: Leora Sibony, Vicky Attenborough, Sandra Rubbo, Wendy Powitt, Alex Hudson, Carolyn Delzoppo, Skye Baker, Rachel Dun, Pru Bleasdale, Kylie Stoddart, Lisa Aronis, Babette Yates and Annique Goldenberg. A decision was made to close the print studio as it was under-utilised and the logistics and cost of finding a new venue did not seem justified.
The committee focused on existing projects such as the very successful Art in the Pub (organised jointly with the Byron School of Art ) and the c.a.s.e. postcard show, as well as be exploring new ideas to support contemporary art and local artists such as face to face - a hub to connect practicing artists for networking and creative critique sessions..
In the last 5 years the committee has seen some changes with Vicky Attenborough, Skye Baker, Wendy Powitt, Alex Hudson, Kylie Stoddart, Lisa Aronis, and Babette Yates moving on or moving out of the area. Colleen da Rosa, Leanne Haugh and Roberta Brookes all spent some time on the committee and more recently we have welcomed in Tali Cohen Flantz, Elaine Pollen, Mirna Barakat and Bianca Charleston to join the working committee.
c.a.s.e. successfully organised two rounds of grants in 2018 and 2021 having built up a good bank balance from fundraising over the years. This has enabled us to continue to give back to the community.
In the first year of the pandemic the Postcard Show was held online and Art in the Pub had to be paused. We look forward to resuming these initiatives.
The committee members have been able to hold annual exhibitions, exhibiting in various local venues such as Byron School of Art, NRCG and M-Arts.