Picture: Morag McCannBALLARAT may be a long way from the likes of Barcelona or Paris, but the city’s young artists have banded together to create a group in the spirit of avant-garde cliques of the past.

The#BallaArt group has been formed with its home at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in response to a resurgence in art appreciation among under 30s.

Luke Gahan, Art Gallery of Ballarat Association Council member, said he helped co-found the group to create “a social and energetic place” for young people to develop their love of art and meet others like themselves.

“The aim of #BallaArt is to create a space where young people who are interested in art can get together and be creative,” Mr Gahan said.

“They do not have to be artists themselves, nor know much about art or art history. The group is open to all young people, regardless of their artistic abilities, or knowledge, who simply want to get to know others and appreciate and learn more about art together.”

Mr Gahan said Ballarat had a tradition of supporting and encouraging young artists.

“Ballarat schools have amazing art programs that rival any of the Melbourne schools,” he said.

“The Art Gallery of Ballarat also has an annual exhibition, Next Gen, which showcases artwork by VCE students. Federation University also has fantastic creative arts programs at the Camp Street campus providing many opportunities for young artist from Ballarat and beyond.”

Mr Gahan said while many young artists eventually moved to Melbourne for university or work, they tended to return home to Ballarat for weekends, looking for activities to be part of.

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