Flying Arts Alliance-Connects Regional Qld To The Arts – Ruth Greening

February 22, 2024

Flying Arts Alliance Inc., a not-for-profit organisation, has an appealing uniqueness about it. An arts and cultural development organisation, it has been delivering visual arts projects and services to regional and remote Queensland since 1971 and has played a significant role in inspiring artists and communities. 

Their motto, Connecting Regional Queensland to the Arts, does more than art, it contributes significantly to helping people overcome the impacts of regional isolation and remote living. 

A legendary figure in the Queensland arts community and founder of Flying Arts, Mervyn Moriarty OAM has an iconic story as a respected artist and as a passionate dedicated art teacher/educator since the 1970s. He used his prize money from an art award to learn how to fly so he could teach art in outback communities where there was no access to art.

It is a lovely story when in 1971  he took off in his small plane on a 6,000 km round journey where he set up the ‘art school’ that is now Flying Arts, hence the name. On average, he flew four times a year to 26 centres making over 1,250 trips and flying over 400,000km.  Fortunately, his work has been recognised not just by the Australia Day Honours Awards, but by generating hundreds of artists living on rural properties and regional towns throughout Queensland providing potential for a lifetime interest or career.

Legacy Lives On

It was apparent Mervyn’s care and guidance continue to live on after my enlightening evening when I accepted an invitation to attend the Emerging Artist Award Exhibition for the 2023 Queensland Regional Arts Awards. Held at the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane we mingled with a few of the regional emerging artists. 

They all shone, thanks to Flying Art’s support to showcase their creations. The excitement and passion were soon evident from the conversations and art pieces on display. The incredible diversity in the visual arts, ranging from ceramics, stitchwork, slumped glass, natural fibre & charcoal,  photographic and paper combinations, recycled clay, and painting. 

This month’s featured artists:  Anna Guthrie, Blair Garland, Jacky Chan, Kathryn Neilsen, Katrina O’Shanessy, Kaz Jauser, Ketakii Jewson-Brown, Kim Nolan, Kirralee Robinson, Maharlina Gorospe-Lockie, Naomi McKenzie, Natalie Ward, Seth Green, William Debois. 

Until 21 February,  there are fourteen pieces of artwork on display. It is easy to see why it was difficult to choose one winner. 

Naomi McKenzie was the lucky recipient of the winning prize. Using texture, shadow and reflections, her piece titled Where We Meet 2023, was created with Silver Gelatin Photograph hand processed on Metallic Paper. Such fine detail and an image that captures one attention. 

Anna Guthrie, a ceramicist, was runner-up with her intriguing creation, Arcadian Apertures #2I 2023. A geometric ceramic vessel, bearing a small incised aperture that serves as a portal into the realm of Arcadia.

Current Exhibitions

February 13-21 Emerging Artist Award Exhibition-JWAC

February 20-13 March The Mervyn Moriarty Landscape Award Exhibition

Up and Coming Programs:


Judith Wright Arts Centre, 420 Brunswick Street, Brisbane. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am to 5 pm 

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