A new breath of artistic life

JUST as a heart beats day or night, so too the centre of a town should be full of life.

Railway Park, while nicely placed to be Byron Bay's hub, has a reputation as a place to avoid after dark.

But all that is set to change in a few weeks when it plays host to the first weekly night artisan market.

It is being organised by the Byron Youth Service as a means to promote the vibrant arts scene, liven up Railway Park and raise funds for the successful Street Cruise program.

For 16-year-old Ceridwyn Woldendorp-Williams it is also a chance for her and other young people to sell their art at a specially established young artisan's collective stall. Many young people may not have accrued enough artworks to fill their own stall so by joining forces they can have a presence.

The Bangalow teenager creates ink and watercolour artworks and ragdolls. This will be her first time selling art to strangers and she likes the idea.

“I've sold a few prints through friends of friends,” she said.

“This is definitely a good idea and Railway Park won't be such a bad place at night now.”

Organiser Paul Spooner said 20 stallholders had already been selected for the first market on October 4.

“This is about having a mix of painters, glass makers, jewellers, metal workers and so on,” he said.

Mr Spooner said stallholders would rotate each week so that the products were different and to give as many local artists as possible an opportunity to take part.

“I believe a lot of people in our community want to see the heart of Byron renewed.

“I hope this will change the nature of Byron, even making it something that families can come to.”

Mr Spooner believes fees collected from the market will fund the Street Cruise program in its entirety.

The program puts staff and volunteers on the streets of Byron Bay every Friday night between 8pm and 12am as a support for youth.



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