SMA Projects & the MARS gallery launch artist in residence programme at The Lyric

SMA Projects in collaboration with the MARS Gallery, have created an artist in residence programme which provides young emerging artists with the studio and gallery space to prepare and exhibit their works.

The artist in residency programme will be based on a two-month rotation with SMA Projects providing artists with gallery space in the display suite of their latest project for Fitzory - The Lyric.  Studio space will also be made available to artists above the display suite located at 250 Gore Street.

The first artist in residence is 2015 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist of the year Josh Muir who has created a new series of unique artworks that celebrate his indigenous heritage, his future and his love of the Fitzroy and Collingwood community. 

Josh Muir's work at The Lyric display suite gallery

  "Opportunities like this are important for emerging artists to enable us to show our work to a broad audience" says Muir.  "Getting experience interacting with the local community and talking to people about your work is a vital learning step and helps us become recognised artists".

MARS gallery director Andy Dinan said initiatives such as SMA projects artist in residence programme provide vital support to the creative community.

"These initiatives provide the much-needed support the creative community requires to thrive in the current landscape", said Dinan.

"SMA projects is giving young emerging artists such as Josh Muir a chance to interact with the public sell their work and talk about their process the skills integral for young artist and will give them the chance to flourish in the future".

Josh Muir's work at The Lyric display suite gallery

Robert Murphy, SMA Projects Development Manager, says "We believe developers should understand the fabric of the communities they build in.  The City of Yarra is an incredibly special area in Melbourne and the creative and marker community really lies at its heart".

The artist in residence programme was launched on the 8th of March with an opening event that celebrated Josh Muir's latest works, a smoking ceremony to welcome guests and honour the Wurrundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the land upon which Melbourne now sits.

The welcome ceremony was held on March 8

For more background on Josh, see this profile on Creative Victoria: Art Heals - The remarkable journey of Josh Muir.

To visit the gallery, head down to 250 Gore Street in Fitzroy - open on weekdays from midday to 4pm and between 10am and 4pm on weekends.

The Lyric is a 156 residence project designed by Hayball and developed by SMA Projects.  The building will be located at 338 Gore Street.  Click here to view more information about the project.

Josh Muir's work at The Lyric display suite gallery

9 comments

Bilby's picture

Destroy two of the most significant historic buildings in Fitzroy ... get an art residency in exchange. Fitzroy is indeed "... incredibly special" isn't it, SMA?

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Lazzreroni's picture

Shame SMA didn’t “…understand the fabric of the communities they build in” when they decided to demolish the Lyric Theatre.

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Bilby's picture

Goodbye to the mighty Fitzroy Lyric Star Theatre, 1911-2017. One of the largest purpose built pre-WWI cinemas left in the world:

SMA - wrecking the cultural history of Melbourne's inner north, one historic building at a time.

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George D's picture

To lose that is horrific.

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3000's picture

Yes, you sure understand Fitzroy. Lets demolish the reason people love it and then dump some yuppie style 'culture' in there call it a day.

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theboynoodle's picture

That picture is from the recent Rone exhibition, which was a wonderful use of a wonderful space - but not representative of what that building is to the good people of Fitzroy. It's mainly been a crappy store, covered in ugly cladding. That magnificent space, whilst given a last hurrah by Rone, was lost to us and is nothing to do with why people love Fitzroy.

This development doesn't take away a reason to love the place, but rather it robs us of the possibility of adding a new one.

In itself the new building looks fine. But the price being paid for it is a high one.

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Bilby's picture

I don't know about that - going inside and experiences the remarkable old shop interiors of Fitzroy is one its key charms in my view. I used to love visiting what was recently Jimmy Possum or more recently, Dimmeys, to see the incredible interior of the Lyric. The same applied to places like the Bonds store on Smith Street (ex-Pattersons Federation era department store).

Both of these interiors are indeed a great loss, and of course, the Lyric itself will be destroyed, beyond any chance of ever being restored to the magnificent venue it could have been in such an iconic Melbourne location.

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Graham's picture

I walked past the Lyric today and saw all their advertising hoardings in situ for the first time. Made my blood boil. Bulldozing this amazing building so it can be "beautifully reimagined as a series of chic apartments". SMA projects...should be hung.

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3000's picture

It's also ironic that a welcome ceremony was had. When I worked there many of the ndigenous population were sitting out in the streets or asking hipsters for cigarettes. More like they (the developer) welcome your money.

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