Community arts hub

The Arty Duck is a community hub where creatives like Tania Brown and Courtney McIntyre can share their talents with locals and tourists. The shop is now offering Tasmanian designers the opportunity to sell their wares in the community shop. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

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Collective. Starting out as a duckling of an idea, The Arty Duck has spread its wings and become quite something.

A vision of passionate Circular Head creatives, the secret to the success of the Smithton craft shop is that it is entirely run by volunteers, that is the craftspeople whose wares line the shelves.

One of those volunteers is Courtney McIntyre who says the community ownership is what makes the arts hub so special.

“The feedback’s been really good from our customers, the locals are amazing, they’re what keep us going.

People really love it, they really like to meet the makers and buy off the person who made it.”

There are 21 designers, craftspeople and artists whose pieces are for sale, all of them from Circular Head.

“Our aim at the moment is just to encourage anyone who makes anything to come to the shop, it really is a community shop.

“We want to take away the fear of people thinking that you have to be a certain thing to be here, it’s open to everyone, everything’s encouraged.”

The Arty Duck is now opening up its doors to Tasmanian designers who may like to showcase their wares in the local space.

These permanent stall holders would add to the already diverse offerings in store, from handmade children’s clothing and rugs to bracelets and skincare.

“It’s amazing what people do already in Circular Head, but we’d like to bring in more,” Courtney says.

“We need to move on and do the next thing to keep the shop interesting.”

Tania Brown, who was one of the founding members of the shop which opened in 2014, says she is proud to see it is “still going strong”.

“For me it’s more about the community that it’s made. It is a core group of people that is doing the most of the work but if we have a fundraiser, everybody’s hand’s up to do something.”

A new exhibition room is open to all local artists to display their work. Weekly spaces are available for up to $10 per week, while the exhibition space is by commission.

To find out more, pop in to the Smith Street shop or visit The Arty Duck Facebook page.

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