Studio Artes have strongly denied a media report they consider it a “second blow” that Hornsby Shire Council is considering selling the building that contains their gallery.
“We always knew this was coming and we are very grateful to Hornsby Council for all the help they have given us throughout the years,” Studio ARTES chief executive Jem Muharrem says.
“We do not feel unsupported and we are very shocked by that headline.”
For more than five years Council has provided the building in George Street to Studio Artes as a gallery at a subsidised rent.
When their studio and offices on Bridge Road burned down at the start of the month Council also moved quickly to provide them with emergency accommodation at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre.
Hornsby Shire Mayor Steve Russell is among those who were very upset by the suggestion Council has let Studio Artes down.
“As soon as I read that headline I was on the phone to make sure they didn’t really feel that way and I can’t describe my relief when I found out it wasn’t true,” Mayor Russell says.
“Studio Artes is one of the great institutions of our community and Council was pleased to provide a space for them to continue their good work.
“The building we are providing for them in George Street was only purchased in case we needed that space for the construction of the new footbridge.
“The original plan was for it to be demolished, but now that is not necessary it will be sold and the funds will be used for extra car parking and other amenities in the CBD.
“While we are talking about help for Studio Artes, there is one group that has not been mentioned in the media coverage so far that deserves acknowledgement.
“Hornsby Art Society have shown great patience and support as Studio Artes have settled into Wallarobba and that help is greatly appreciated.”