‘The measure of the creator is the amount of life he puts into his work.’ Carl van Doren

After months if not years of artistic inspiration, there is a sense of anticipation and satisfaction as a small band of enthusiastic artists gather their works in readiness for their exhibition at Dalby’s Gallery 107.

Canvases of oil, pastels and charcoal intersperse with beautiful pottery and glass artistry. Such is the diversity of this group of potters and artists who combined their creative energies seven years ago to form Dalby Creative Artists.Although only more recently amalgamated, the roots of the Dalby Art Group and Dalby Potters reaches back to 1958, a testimony to the pleasure and satisfaction derived from creative pursuits.

Paintings lean against the walls waiting to be hung for their moment in the spotlight, to give joy and inspiration or to share a story. One such story is a pencil sketch of a young three-year old boy on an outing in Sydney with his uncle in 1942. Sketched from a photograph, that young boy was penciled by his older self — a member of the Dalby Creative Artists — some 74 years later.

Gallery 107, surely Dalby’s answer to the Louvre, is the perfect canvas for the collective works of Dalby Creative Artists. This contemporary gallery holds its own amongst the best, and this is endorsed with many visitors commenting that the standard of the gallery and the quality of the exhibitions rival Brisbane.

Such is the calibre of this relatively new gallery, it attracts exhibits of high quality from touring exhibitions, including the National Gallery, as well as featuring local artists and interactive hands-on displays. Just as importantly, it is equally accessible to schools and kindergartens, individuals and groups. The gallery members promote community involvement and happily take the time to work with exhibitors throughout the process, to mentor or assist with curating.

Gallery 107’s band of volunteers are unwavering in their support, with untold hours spent ensuring each exhibition’s success. The Creative Artists offer high praise to the volunteers for their expertise and commitment. “It was a wonderful display of our endeavours, and we were thrilled by how the artworks were shown to their best advantage and the level of interest from the general public,” a spokesman for the group enthused.

Whether holding an exhibition, participating in a skills workshop to expand or revitalise skills, learn new techniques or for professional development, Gallery 107 has a passion for bringing art to the people and encourages community interaction.

In the words of former Dalby Mayor, Alderman Drew, “Art and drama mean a great deal, for they represent a cultural side of life, a side which, unless cultivated, will never grow of its own accord. It is necessary, if you wish to enjoy life, to have something more than the necessities.”

Fifty-eight years later, the recent collaboration between Gallery 107 and Dalby Creative Artists illustrates the cultural scene in Dalby has a lustrous future.

Words & images by Janine Waters