Artspace Mackay - Art Collector

Artspace Mackay

Artspace Mackay is a regional art gallery owned and operated by Mackay Regional Council in north Queensland that aims to provide visitors to the region with a taste of the region's unique environment. The gallery opened in late 2002 and includes three impressive exhibition spaces and an artists book reading room which houses a collection of artists books and prints of national significance.

This purpose-built gallery, designed by award-winning Queensland architects Cox Rayner, forms part of Mackay Regional Council’s Cultural Precinct. It provides residents and visitors to Mackay with the opportunity to see art exhibitions by significant international, Australian and local artists and touring exhibitions presented by Australia’s largest art galleries and museums.

Exhibitions are complemented by innovative education and community activities for all ages. Programs include guided tours, artists’ talks, practical art workshops for adults and children as well as professional development opportunities for local artists, teachers and students.

Artspace Mackay is also very proud of its region’s significant and ongoing investment in public art, including works which line the Pioneer River along the Bluewater Trail. Recent commissions have seen Mackay earn a place on the world map for contemporary public art, with six art installations by Indigenous Australian artist Fiona Foley, two installations by established Queensland artist Donna Marcus, and a recognised commitment to commission further works along the trail.

The collection

The Mackay Regional Council Collection is the most focused collection throughout the regional galleries network in Queensland and contains the third largest collection of artists books in Australia after the National Gallery of Australia and the State Library of Queensland.

Among the most significant additions to the collection in the recent years have been the important group of 43 prints in various media and one painting by members of the Lockhart River Art Gang donated by Fran and Geoff Barker through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program in 2006.

Recent acquisitions to the Artists Books Collection have continued to concentrate on new work by Australian artists with the majority of acquisitions coming from the Libris Awards. However, following a long term strategy to develop a collection that tells the story of the history of artists books, a quarter of the new works that have entered the collection, primarily through donations, have been older works from Australia and overseas that go some way to fill the gaps in this story.

Exhibition highlights

Ngaio Lenz: Kept things
5 September 2014 to 19 October 2014
Kept things is an exhibition of self portraits on canvas and a large installation of 365 small found, made and kept things. The works relate to the artist's personal fight with breast cancer and became part of the healing process.

Offshoots I-V
24 October 2014 to 14 December 2014
Artspace Mackay and Lagoons Gallery, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
The result of a collaboration between Tank Arts Centre and Cairns Botanic Gardens,
Offshoots I-V is a selection of botanical illustrations, etchings, paintings and mixed media artworks by Cairns artist Julie McEnerny. The works are a fine representation of the diversity of contemporary and traditional botanic illustration techniques and give special focus to plants of ecological or cultural significance.

Remain in light: Photography from the MCA Collections
22 May 2015 to 4 July 2015
This exhibition is an Australian touring exhibition of over 70 artworks by Australian and international artists collected by the University of Sydney and the Museum of Contemporary Art during a period spanning more than 50 years. It explores the influence of photographic theory and technique in contemporary art. Key areas including documentary photography, serial photography, performance photography and the manipulation of the photographic image are investigated. Featured artists include Julie Rrap, Ed Ruscha, Tracey Moffatt, Ricky Maynard, Rosemary Laing and Barbara Kruger.

Art awards

Artspace Mackay hosts The Libris Awards, an artists book competition open to all Australian artists, which has become nationally respected and develops awareness of the Mackay Regional Council’s significant collection of artists books. The Libris Awards also assist with further development of the collection by facilitating the ongoing acquisition of new works. The next Libris Awards will be in 2016.


Artspace Mackay gallery membership offers exclusive invitations to exhibition openings, tours and events. Meet new people and enjoy networking opportunities with other gallery members, artists and benefactors. For more information on how to become an Artspace Mackay gallery member, click here.

Visitor information

Artspace Mackay offers visitors the following facilities:

  • Cafe
  • Gallery shop
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Air conditioning
  • Parking

Artspace Mackay
Civic Centre Precinct
Gordon Street
Mackay QLD 4740

Phone: 07 4961 9722
Fax: 07 4961 9794
Open: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Weekends 10am to 3pm.