Commencing her career in the arts at the age of just 20, it’s unsurprising Kay Parkin went on to coordinate the Central Goldfields Art Gallery — a position which after 15 years, she’s announced her retirement from.
Pouring her art and soul into the gallery when she first arrived almost 16 years ago, Ms Parkin has become a stalwart of the local art community, but it hasn’t come without a fair share of work.
“I remember being given the key and code for the security system and that was it,” she said.
“That’s how I started here at the gallery, I was given free rein as long as I kept within budget. I was given the opportunity to create something from nothing really, which is challenging and also very exciting.”
Ms Parkin started out mainly in the performing arts before later working with the Maryborough District Health Service (MDHS), where she learnt about the job on offer at the gallery.
“The gallery was, I think, open but just to community groups, the general public couldn’t just come in,” she said.
“I was working for MDHS at the time and read an article in The Addy where there was talk about a group of artists getting together to discuss getting the gallery back on track.
“Those artists were meeting and lobbying council to give the gallery another go. I read that story and thought it was something I’d like to be involved in and kept my eye open for when the job would be ad- vertised.”
Ms Parkin said when it was advertised, there were actually two part-time jobs which she applied for and was successful with both, becoming the gallery’s full-time coordinator.
Although things were fairly barebones to begin with, the gallery has seen some significant changes over the years including the introduction of the school holiday program for young people and the biennial children’s picture book illustration exhibition.
Ms Parkin said she is especially proud to have seen these initiatives get up and running.
“When I first started at the gallery it was just me and fortunately some of the local artists would assist by working on weekends, it took many years to get staff on board,” she said.
For more on this story see Page 2 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 7