Kerri Swain is determined not to let this building on Palmerin St sit unused for any longer. With a creative solution in mind, Mrs Swain wants Warwick artists to make the space their gallery and cultural hub.
Kerri Swain is determined not to let this building on Palmerin St sit unused for any longer. With a creative solution in mind, Mrs Swain wants Warwick artists to make the space their gallery and cultural hub. Marian Faa

Warwick's 'invisible' building to become new cultural hub

A WOMAN'S bid to resurrect a forgotten building in Warwick's main street has inspired an idea that could give Warwick a new cultural asset and tourist attraction.

Paint, pottery and a creative workspace full of artistic bustle is Kerri Swain's vision for the "invisible” Palmerin St shop she has been watching go to waste for the past three years.

With no signs of life, the building between Curves Fitness and the Warwick Hotel, has become a ghost of the Warwick streetscape.

"It's such a waste and such a shame to have this building just sitting there and not being used - buildings need people in them don't they,” she said.

PERFECT PLAN: Warwick artist Raylene Swain coincidentally shares a name with the woman behind this bright idea, which she says will bring more opportunity for local artists.
PERFECT PLAN: Warwick artist Raylene Swain coincidentally shares a name with the woman behind this bright idea, which she says will bring more opportunity for local artists. Marian Faa

Determined to see the space put to use, Mrs Swain has come up with a solution that will give local creatives a place to make and showcase their work.

"We thought artists can't afford rent and I can't afford to pay someone to look after the building but somehow, if we can all work together, I think we can create a beautiful space and give the building life,” Mrs Swain said.

She has put the callout to local artists to turn the space into an art gallery, exhibition centre and workshop which they can use and manage as a collective.

Instead of charging rent for the building, Mrs Swain said she would charge a small commission on artworks sold through the centre.

"There's a lot of very creative people in this area so it would just be great to give them a space to be able to sell their work,” she said.

Kerri Swain is determined not to let this building on Palmerin St sit unused for any longer. With a creative solution in mind, Mrs Swain wants Warwick artists to make the space their gallery and cultural hub.
Kerri Swain said the building had become "basically invisible” after years of being unoccupied. Marian Faa

Warwick-based artist Raylene Swain said it was a brilliant idea to give local artists space to showcase their work.

"Jumpers and Jazz is the main time for selling art and that is only once a year,” she said. "This could be great for some more exposure.”

Warwick-based artist Sue Keong said there was a lot of interest from the artistic community.

With a big open floor plan and a couple of private office rooms, Mrs Swain said the building would be perfect for those with creative pursuits.

She also hopes it will make a tourist destination with its prime location opposite the WIRAC fitness centre and Leslie Park.

Kerri Swain plans to meet with local artists in the coming weeks to discuss how the space can be used and managed. For more information contact Kerri Swain on 0458 362 121.