New life for Benedict House

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HISTORIC  Benedict House in Queanbeyan has today announced the launch of the much-awaited Benedict Arts Precinct, a new centre for arts, design and music in the capital region.

Rory and Jessica Markham
Rory and Jessica Markham

The project aims to revitalise and renew the historic Benedict House precinct with the support of local arts organisations, including Artists Shed Inc, a newly formed arts association, and the Lost and Found Office design collective.

“We wanted to create a new experience for visitors to the region, combining great food, historic ambience and exciting art and design, all set within the building and grounds of this spectacular former convent” says Jess Markham, who together with husband Rory is current custodian of Benedict House. “The revival project has also drawn support and investment from innovators within the business community with Boettcher Law and Kazar Slaven Chartered Accountants also building a presence within Benedict House” adds Rory.

The precinct will officially launch on Saturday, September 13, (watch this space) when visitors will be able to experience local cuisine from the Benedict House cafe/ restaurant, tours through the historic buildings, refurbished rooms and spaces curated by the Lost and Found Office, a public talk by master furniture craftsman Evan Dunstone, open studios and workshops at the Artists Shed and live music throughout the day, culminating with a concert in the Music Room featuring a solo performance by musician Dave O’Neill.

“The Artists Shed has a long history of staging live performance and music in unusual spaces, so Benedict House is a great new venue to add to the opportunities now available for musicians performing in the region” says Tim Keeble, director of music and Vice President of Artists Shed Inc.

As preparations for the launch get underway, Benedict House and the adjoining property, which houses the Lost and Found Office and Artists Shed studios, is being transformed into a creative hub for all art forms.

“Queanbeyan and the Capital region is home to many exceptional artists, and people are sure to enjoy exploring the diverse, beautiful and striking work by both new and established artists. We are excited to showcase work by artists like Julie Ryder, Jodie Cunningham, Margaret Hadfield, Evan Dunstone and Mathew and Harriett Curtis,” says Ben Chapman, creative director at the Lost and Found Office.

“We also invite artists and community members to join the Artists Shed association in its new home within the precinct, where art studios and workshop spaces are now available” adds local artist Dennis Mortimer.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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