If youâ€™d like to own a colourful fibreglass cow hand-painted by a local Toowoomba artist, hereâ€™s your chance! Grand Central Marketing Manager Marieke Bridgeman said the centre recently commissioned six local artists to create designs on fibreglass cows through the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers theme, â€˜The Power of the Flowerâ€™.
â€œArtists Joy Heylen, Kym Breeze, Mary-Kate Thomson, Anna Bartlett, Katie Whyte and Jennifer Wright (Summers) brought the cows to life, and they have since featured in the Grand Central Floral Parade on the weekend and are currently being displayed in-centre on Level 1 of the Retail Galleria between Rozziâ€™s and H&M,â€ she said.
Ms Bridgeman said there was a wonderful community response when the artists came in-centre to work on their designs, and to seeing the finished product on Grand Centralâ€™s float in Saturdayâ€™s floral parade.
â€œPeople loved watching the artistic process and having a chat to the artists while they were in-centre.Â We have such talented artists in our local community, and it was wonderful to be able to showcase their work. But now that weâ€™ve accomplished another successful Grand Central Floral Parade, weâ€™re looking for a new home for our Carnival Cows, and weâ€™d like to help local charities at the same time,â€ she said.
Grand Central asked each artist to nominate a charity or not-for-profit in our local community to benefit from a silent auction of the fibreglass cow that they worked on. â€œFunds raised from the auction will go toward helping these charities do vital work in our region.Â So if youâ€™re a business or individual who may be interested in bidding on one of the cows, we encourage you to do so now!â€ Ms Bridgeman said.
Meet the artists & their chosen charities
Joy Heylen & Drought Angels
Artist:Â Joy HeylenÂ found her purpose and identity for being in sculpture.Â The design for her cow drew on symbolic interpretation from the floral spray pattern of a paisley motif, which is a symbol of life and eternity.Â
Charity:Â Drought AngelsÂ is committed to providing heartfelt, discrete and personalised support to farmers and their rural communities.Â They provide direct and timely financial assistance, essential resources and meaningful relief for primary producers impacted by drought and natural disasters.Â The majority of their support is given in the form of prepaid visa cards.Â They understand that these hard working people are proud and often struggle to ask for assistance of any kind.Â The cards have no markings on them and can be used to pay for groceries, utilities or stock feed.Â This gives farmers some control over their situation where they have no control over mother nature.Â Â Â
Mary-Kate Thomson & Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland
Artist:Â Mary-Kate ThomsonÂ is a graphic designer / illustrator who grew up in Toowoomba and returned to the city to raise her family.Â The inspiration for her violet and wattle cow design is the beautiful flora of the Garden City, and the focus is the historically significant and iconic Toowoomba Violet.Â Many violet posies were sold post-war to fund the Motherâ€™s Memorial.Â Wattle, a native flower, perfectly complements the non-native violet.Â
Charity:Â Lifeline Darling Downs and South West QueenslandÂ is a local community based organisation which offers a range of crisis support and community services.Â They provide 26 human services across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to a population in excess of 260,000.Â Their services include, but are not limited to, family and individual counselling, emergency relief and suicide prevention.Â Lifeline assists the most vulnerable members of our society when they are in distress and services are free to all those who need them.Â The funds raised from the silent auction will be used to support their self-funded free, confidential counselling service which is available to anyone who needs it.Â
Anna Bartlett & Hope Horizons
Artist:Â Anna BartlettÂ is a contemporary painter whose mission is to share the joy of drawing and painting.Â Happy colours are her â€˜thingâ€™ and she says flowers are a fantastic way to explore colour.Â The â€˜Graphic Floral Cowâ€™ she painted for Grand Central is a bold, clean, graphic depiction of stylised floral motifs.Â
Charity:Â Hope HorizonsÂ supports all cancers with a Cancer Wellness Centre in Toowoomba.Â Â They strive to enhance the quality of life of all people affected by any cancer within Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region throughout and after their cancer diagnosis, encouraging empowerment through education and awareness. Their clients can expect a welcoming atmosphere with a genuine focus on individual care, where a variety of support services are delivered with professionalism, integrity and confidentiality.
Â Kym Breeze & Emerge
Artist:Â Kym BreezeÂ has exhibited at various galleries in Toowoomba, Sydney and surrounding regional areas, and has also sold some works internationally.Â The main influence of her art has always been colour and texture.Â For her cow, she drew on her earliest memories of Carnival as a child, and the tradition she started with her own children as they grew up â€“ celebrating all the beauty of our city each year as Carnival came around.Â Family embraced by the flower, blue skies, green rolling hills and happiness.Â
Charity:Â Emerge is a youth organisation and social enterprise cafe engaging and empowering youth in the Toowoomba community. They bring together a dedicated youth space, a fully operational cafe and cooking school, crisis resources and boxing and fitness programs for youth in the Toowoomba region who are experiencing hardship such as homelessness, social disadvantage, poverty and racial exclusion.
Jennifer Wright (Summers) & Sunrise Way
Artist:Â Â Jennifer Wright (Summers)Â is a well-known Toowoomba artist and Arts advocate.Â She embraced a â€˜walk back in historyâ€™ theme for her design.Â Each patch of history shows times on this place such as the volcanoes that made our soil rich, the First People going to a Bunya Festival, colonial pioneers, and the long history of where Grand Central now stands.Â
Charity:Â Sunrise WayÂ is supporting stronger and healthier communities in regional and rural Queensland through helping individuals living with addiction to rebuild their lives.Â Â It is a 20 bed not-for-profit rehabilitation service based in Toowoomba that facilitates a 26 week program.Â The goal of the program is to enable clients to understand their addiction, manage their mental health, develop skills and strategies to maintain sobriety, and rebuild their lives.Â
Â Katie Whyte & RSPCA Queensland
Artist:Â Katie WhyteÂ is an abstract painter living in Toowoomba.Â She wanted to create a design that was reflective of Spring time in Toowoomba and how the Carnival has helped shape our local identity over time. Katie took two quintessential Toowoomba elements and combined them to form the design â€“ the shape of the horizon over the Toowoomba Range and the outline of flowers in bloom.Â
Charity:Â RSPCA QueenslandÂ is a non-government, community based charity dedicated to protecting the welfare of all animals â€“ great and small.Â Their Toowoomba Animal Care Centreâ€™s facilities are long overdue for an upgrade, so theyâ€™re currently in the process of building a new adoption centre near Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.Â Any funds raised from the auction will be allocated to the fit-out of this adoption centre.Â
To bid on the cows, go toÂ Â https://app.galabid.com/cows/items.Â Bidding is open until 10am on Monday October 14.