Mackay Regional Council Art Collection

Artists Books

To celebrate the opening of Artspace Mackay in February 2003, artist Tate Adams generously donated over three hundred works on paper, artists' books, wood blocks and reference books to the Mackay Regional Council Collection.

This major donation significantly enhanced an already impressive artists' books collection established in 1995 by Mackay City Library. It also served to reinforce Artspace Mackay's profile as an important cultural landmark in the region. Since then, the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection has continued to grow and expand.

Artspace Mackay established the first national artists' book conference Focus on Artists' Books in 2004. This conference and the associated Libris Artists' Book Award have become major cultural events, bringing to Mackay artists, scholars and enthusiasts from around Australia and internationally. These events have succeeded in raising the profile of Mackay's collection, and attracting further donations by publishers and artists eager for inclusion.


Experience Artspace Mackay’s diverse collection of artists’ books

Artspace Mackay invites visitors to enjoy the Tate Adams Reading Pod, a purpose-built space for visitors to have unprecedented access to the collection. Since 2017 the Artspace Mackay collection of artist books has been made available to the public through the creation of the purpose-designed Tate Adams Reading Pod (TARP).

Artspace Mackay holds the third largest collection of artist books in Australia, enriched by benefactor Tate Adams who donated a significant number of artist books, bookplates and works on paper to the collection adding to the resources originally sourced by the Mackay City Council Library Service.

Visitors can select up to three books for one hour from either; Director, Curator or Volunteers’ Choice categories. Volunteers have been trained in the correct procedures for handling the books and to deliver informed and entertaining talks.

To book your visit to the Tarp please contact Artspace Mackay on 07 49619722

The Cultural Gifts Program

In 2004, Artspace Mackay was officially endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient.

This classification has enabled numerous benefactors, collectors and artists to donate items of significant cultural heritage through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts program.

Cultural gifts

Lockhart River Art Gang

In 2006, Geoff and Fran Barker (Lockhart River Art Centre 1996 - 2001) donated an historically important archive of 43 early prints and one work on canvas.

The works were done by founding members of the 'Art Gang', including Rosella Namok, Fiona Omeenyo, Samantha Hobson and Sammy Clarmont.


The Pioneer Potters Collection

The Pioneer Potters, Mackay, was formed in 1975 by a small group of potters who wished to improve their skills.

The underlying aim of the group was to have a contact area for inspiring ceramicists and to improve the standard of pottery in Mackay. This was accomplished by holding seminars and workshops with experienced potters from around Australia and overseas.

The Pioneer Potters established annual acquisitive awards that attracted entries from local, national and international artists. This collection was built up over a number of years and features prize-winning entries, as well as exceptional pieces acquired from visiting artists and workshop participants.

In 2006, the Pioneers Potters Inc. generously donated the entire collection of 64 pieces to Mackay Regional Council.

Pioneer potters