A new home for Gold Coast arts

Opening this weekend, HOTA is sure to win the hearts and minds of locals and travellers alike.

Words: Rose of Sharon Leake

“Dust off your sandy feet and come in your bikini if you want.” These are the welcoming words of Criena Gehrke, CEO of the brand-new Home of the Arts Gallery (HOTA), Gold Coast opening to the public this weekend. Surrounding by parklands and the Nerang River, the colourful new HOTA is the largest public gallery outside of a capital city in Australia. The $60.5 million gallery spans six floors, housing the City Collection comprising more than 4,500 pieces worth $32 million from established and emerging artists, including one of the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in regional Australia. “[HOTA] really represented the DNA of the Gold Coast,” stated Gehrke at the intimate press opening this morning. “I think that this gallery really is of this place. It’s a little bit glamorous but come inside and its thoughtful, warm, intelligent, and more than what you expect. Which is like the Gold Coast itself.”

While only 3% of the City Collection will be on display at any one time, HOTA’s inaugural exhibition program presents works by major Australian collectable artists. SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise includes 19 major commissions by established Australian artists, including Lisa Sorbie Martin, Hiromi Tango, Elliot Bastianon, Ali Bezer and Samuel Leighton-Dore, among others.

SOLID GOLD will be followed later in the year by Lyrical Landscapes – The Art of William Robinson,” reveals HOTA director Tracy Cooper-Lavery.and in November we will present Contemporary Masters, selected works from one of the world’s largest private collections based in New York, in an exhibition exclusive to HOTA Gallery. Visitors will be able to enjoy iconic works from legendary contemporary artists, such as Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.”

Together with site specific outdoor commissions by Ramesh Mario Nithihyendran and Judy Watson, Palette – a sophisticated dining experience with dishes looking like artworks in themselves, a rooftop bar and stunning views over the river from every floor, HOTA doesn’t skimp on wow factor.

Designed by Melbourne-based architects ARM, the building sets a precedent for the cultural precinct master plan for the Gold Coast which is set to change the cultural landscape of the area over the next 10-15 years. “HOTA is a fitting new edition to a vibrant and growing creative arts hub,” said Ned Pankhurst, chair of HOTA’s board of directors. While still in its early stages of expansion, the Gold Coast is increasing making a name for itself, inviting the attention of curators, directors and collectors who usually set their sights on galleries located in the countries capital cities.

“We’ve got amazing art on offer, but we want to do it in a Gold Coast way,” concluded Gehrke. “This place is for everyone”.

From Saturday 8 May 2021, HOTA will open its doors seven days a week year round to the public.

For more information visit the HOTA website here.

Image: Installation view of SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise at HOTA. Courtesy: the artists and HOTA, Gold Coast.

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