Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts (Umbrella) is an independent platform for contemporary arts practice located on Gurambilbarra (Townsville, North Queensland) established in 1986. Umbrella delivers a program of onsite and touring exhibitions, partnered projects, public programs, arts residencies, studio access, professional development programs, events and festivals. Umbrella showcases contemporary work by established, mid-career and emerging artists. The Umbrella team brokers acquisitions through our presence at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and relationships with collectors and institutions nationally.
Umbrella’s 2019-2022 touring exhibition Legacy: Reflections on Mabo (co-curated by Gail Mabo, Jonathan McBurnie and Kellie Williams) was awarded Museums and Galleries Queensland’s 2021 Gallery and Museum Achievement Project Award. It is the first exhibition to explore Eddie Koiki Mabo’s life from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives in the spirit of reconciliation.
Umbrella’s biennial Pop Up North Queensland (PUNQ) festival presents the most exciting visual and performance artists of North Queensland. It showcases renowned First Nations and Australian collaborations, exhibitions, installations, performances and workshops. PUNQ 2021 celebrated distinct local landscapes by commissioning site-specific artworks across the region. Among these were a major new work by Dancenorth, a sugar cane field crop circles installation and a landmark First Nations Billboard exhibition.
Umbrella biennially presents Compact Prints, an opportunity for print makers internationally to exhibit and exchange small prints with other artists. One print from each edition is auctioned as a fundraiser for Umbrella, enabling collectors to access traditional, experimental and contemporary prints from a range of artists.
- Free guided tours
- Gallery shop
- Historic building
- Wheelchair access
- Workshops and classes
Featured image: Gail Mabo, Mum’s Childhood Home (installation view from Mabo’s House of Cards solo exhibition at Umbrella), 2021. Photo: Kate O’Hara. Courtesy: the artist and Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, Townsville.