About Woods Street Arts Space
Hobsons Bay City Council, with the support of the community, has taken the lease of the former post office at Lohse and Woods Street, in the spirit of urban renewal and recognising the role arts can play in activating space.
Woods Street Arts Space provides a shopfront style facility for community groups to host art exhibitions, resdencies and facilitate workshops.
About Lohse and Woods
The former post office on Woods Street in the Lohse and Woods shopping precinct became vacant during 2010/11. Left to sit in a dilapidated state, it was vandalised and Council received complaints from residents about it. The building being ‘on the market’ for rental presented an opportunity for Council to intervene and create a positive outcome in a location that is noted in Council’s Laverton Cross Directorate planning as being critical to community and urban renewal in Laverton.
Urban revitalisation and activating spaces
Creating a shop front arts space was inspired by the good outcomes of Renew Newcastle which was established to find short and medium term uses for buildings in the CBD that were vacant, disused or waiting development. It drove effective ‘grass roots’ renewal using the arts and innovation as the key drivers. Woods Street has a calendar of workshops and exhibitions that allows local artists to use the space at no cost as long as their pitches and ideas meet certain criteria.
Arts and Culture Plan
Council has adopted the Hobsons Bay Arts and Culture Plan 2011-15. Woods Street Arts Space brings the arts to a part of the city that does not have arts infrastructure except for the performing arts facility at Laverton P-12. Notwithstanding, the arts have made a valuable contribution to community renewal in Laverton. The Laverton Arts Forum meets regularly and arts projects and exhibitions bring people together. The local artist community is growing, not surprising due to relative housing affordability in the area.