Judy Simonson and Rachel Saunders: Art for all – the importance of arts and culture in rural communities.

GACCI members Judy Simonson and Gloucester Gallery Director Rachel Saunders are both practicing artists and have volunteered for GACCI, a not for profit organisation over the past few years.

Workshop brief: Art for all – the importance of arts and culture in rural communities.
An information sharing session on the role, the history & the future of GACCI (Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Incorporated) and Gloucester Gallery in our community.

Self taught Gloucester artist Judy, makes and paints art daily, driven to be creative there are no limits to Judy’s artistic talents. Judy works on fabric, canvas, paper, in fact anything that she can decorate, she has an abstract style and uses a variety of techniques to produce work that is as broad in its depiction as it is in its application.

Much of Judy’s work relates to nature and she will include dragonflies, butterflies, florals, and animals within her work. Judy has a strong community ethic and as well as working in aged care, volunteers her time in the gallery regularly, as well as having taken on the role of Treasurer for GACCI.

This attitude to the community also leads her to share her gallery exhibitions every other year with creative friends and to include work that invites children on a creative journey. Judy also runs art workshops and sells her art at markets across NSW.

Rachel moved from the UK to the NSW Southern Highlands in 1983 and gained gallery experience at Sturt Craft workshops where she was involved with artists in bespoke craft work and quality fine art.
“I began my own art practice under the guidance of Rex Dupain and took myself to study art as a mature age student at UNSW where I majored initially in painting, moving into jewellery making and sculpture until completing my final year in photography”.

In 1995 Rachel curated an exhibition ‘Crossings’ for fellow students and was invited to exhibit in the National women’s art exhibition ‘Clever Girls’ at CoFA Gallery in the same year.  Since finishing a BfA UNSW in 1995 Rachel began a longstanding career as a professional photographer working in major large scale commercial Sydney studios. “Now living in Gloucester I am immersing myself in my love of the arts through my work with the Gallery and have returned to my own art practice choosing to work in art photography”.
Rachel signed up as GACCI secretary in 2013 and was appointed Gallery Director in March 2015.