Tyrendarra's first gallery with an Indigenous focus has opened in a converted church.
Two Rivers Gallery opened on April 1 and has enjoyed a steady stream of visitors looking at work by artists from within an 100 kilometre radius of Tyrendarra on display.
Project manager Deb Saunders said the opening was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which turned out to be a blessing.
"We bought the church in 2019 and the first year we continued running some small classes with participants," she said.
"Our original plans were to open Easter last year but that didn't happen.
"Covid gave us the opportunity to slow down and take our time to get things planned."
As a textile artist, Mrs Saunders became involved with Indigenous artists in the Portland area through sewing workshops her daughter invited her too.
"South West Alternative Medium Projects (SWAMP) started and we operated in Portland for 10 years teaching people from all walks of life how to sew," she said.
"It became increasingly difficult to find a space for our yearly Indigenous art show with spaces limited.
"A couple of years ago we made the decision if we couldn't purchase this building we couldn't go on."
Thanks to a generous donation from a friend in the entertainment industry in Sydney, South West Foundation and Glenelg Shire Council funding, SWAMP was able to purchase the Tyrendarra church and through workshops, the building has been converted into the Two Rivers Gallery.
The artwork on show can be purchased and Mrs Saunders hopes to attract exhibitions to run alongside monthly workshops.
"This is a first for Tyrendarra, there's nothing else in town except the football oval which is across the road," she said. "We've had a lot of people - tourists and locals - through the doors and a lot of sales. It's been really well received, it's everything I'd hoped it would be."
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