It didn’t take long for artist Deb Broughton to settle into the community of Gladstone, a village that supports its creative residents.
After moving to Crescent Head five years ago, Deb began displaying her popular beach-inspired paintings and merchandise at the nearby Gladstone markets. She fell in love with the town and dreamed of opening her own gallery.
“Finally, the perfect building came up and I jumped on it,” she says. “I’ve turned it into a space for me and other artists to display artwork and run workshops and classes.”
Deb is also active on the Macleay Valley Community Art Gallery committee, volunteering her time to support and promote local art. She believes the art gallery is central to the arts community, attracting creative residents who want to settle in the town and continue to build its flourishing arts scene.
“The thing I love about Gladstone is that it’s not competitive – everyone supports each other. We just want to get together and make Gladstone an amazing place for people to visit. The Macleay Valley is full of creative people and we are currently setting up an Arts Trail to make it easier for visitors to find them all.”
It’s not all work for Deb, who loves to relax and wander the streets of Gladstone with her four -year-old son, Joel.
“When I’m here, my son and I usually walk to the bakery and get a coffee in the morning and head to the river to feed the ducks,” she says. “I love that we always see people we know along the way, and we’re always discovering new things – like a new artist’s studio or a heritage house that we haven’t seen before. There are so many hidden treasures here.”
When she’s not painting in her studio or relaxing at the park, you’ll find Deb exploring The Gladstone Hub. “I can get lost at the Hub,” she laughs. “It’s such a beautiful place, full of studios of people who are passionate about what they do. You can tell everything in there is created from the heart.”
(Macleay Valley Community Art Gallery)