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Community Recognition - Sturt Gallery and Studios

19th March, 2024.

For eight decades, Sturt Gallery and Studios in the Southern Highlands has quietly solidified itself as the premier location for education and training in contemporary craft; epitomised in its internationally renowned Sturt School for Wood. Sturt was the first post-war crafts studio of its kind in Australia, offering courses, residences, workshops, and exhibitions focusing on woodworking, ceramics, textiles and jewellery. In this post-industrial age of mass produced, low quality goods the importance of an institution like Sturt cannot be understated or undervalued. The skills and knowledge of the handicrafts taught there contribute to the culture and the history of Mittagong itself. Founded in 1941 by visionary educator Winifred West with the goal of providing a place for educational excellence that respected and cared for its natural bush surroundings, Sturt Gallery has for decades nurtured artists, artisans and craftspeople. Beyond just the skills that were trained and honed within the Studios, Winifred West was driven to create connections between the individual and the community, and this is seen through the immense pride that the local communities of the Highlands have in Sturt. I look forward to seeing the talent, creativity and excellence they produce in the future.