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16 Queenslanders to watch

We’re always on the lookout to celebrate Queensland talent. So we’re kicking off 2016 by starting a compilation of Queensland people and independent institutions worth checking out on social media this year! These are just some of the many emerging and leading Queenslanders in the arts and culture sector, and we’d love for you to add to the list! So if you know of other must-follow Queenslanders, share them with us via our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts using #ArtsQld. This list is in no particular order; images below are sourced from respective social media accounts.


1. Grace Lillian Lee

Since exhibiting her range at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2014/2015, the young Indigenous fashion designer has been busy working alongside Australian Indigenous communities in Darwin and Cairns on projects that bring art, design and fashion together.

Instagram: GraceLillianLee





2. Access Arts Inc.

The Queensland organisation works with individuals, regional Queensland communities, as well as interstate and international organisations to remove barriers for Queenslanders living with disability and disadvantages to empower them to participate in arts and cultural experiences.

Facebook: AccessArtsQld





3.The Farm

The Gold Coast based arts collective produce work that range from traditional theatre and dance to outdoor installations, film and immersive theatrical experiences. The Farm participated in last year’s Bleach* Festival, and will be performing at the Australian Performing Arts Market in February 2016.

 Facebook: TheFarmGates





 4.Cultural Flanerie

Under her blogging pseudonym Cultural Flanerie, arts enthusiast Carrie McCarthy regularly profiles Queensland artists and projects, and keeps the sector up to date with upcoming exhibitions, events and programs.

Instagram: CulturalFlanerie





5. Ayla

The young Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter has enjoyed a meteoric rise since winning Arts Queensland’s Billy Thorpe Scholarship in 2015, with her debut single ending up as the 15th most-played Triple J track of that year. Ayla recently wrapped up her East Coast tour, which includes a coveted spot at the Woodford Folk Festival.

Facebook: AylaLive


6. The Fashion Archives

Founded by Nadia Buick and Madeleine King, the online publication celebrates contemporary and historical Queensland fashion, and profiles emerging and leading designers and fashionistas. Their crowd-funded book, Remotely Fashionable, is now available, and takes a comprehensive look at the who, what, when, where, and why of Queensland fashion from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. 

Facebook: TheFashionArchives





7. Australian Performing Market (APAM)

APAM is the leading industry event for contemporary Australian performing arts, and connects performers and presenters with buyers, agents and industry peers. Keep an eye out for the five Queensland artists and companies that Arts Queensland will be supporting when the Market returns to Brisbane in February 2016.

Twitter: APAM_Brisbane  




8. KickArts Contemporary Arts

Based in Cairns, the Not-for-Profit organisation is dedicated to facilitating, presenting and promoting contemporary arts and enriching the cultural life of northern Australians and visitors.

Facebook: Kickarts.Cairns




9. Institute of Modern Art (IMA)

As one of Australia’s oldest non-collecting public galleries, the IMA has a strong public programs and publications repertoire, and also manages the Jeremy Hynes Award, which acknowledges the works of emerging experimental Queensland artists.  

Facebook: InstituteofModernArt





10. Tom Thum

Known as one of Australia’s best beat boxers, Tom Thum’s video ‘The orchestra in my mouth’ became the world’s most watched TEDx video with almost 40 million Youtube views. Last year Tom collaborated with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra for a special performance as part of the Brisbane Festival.

Facebook: TomThum





11. Clark Beaumont

Comprised of Sarah Clark and Nicole Beaumont, this fast-rising performance art duo were selected to participate in Marina Abramovic’s residency project for Kaldor Projects, alongside some of Australia’s best performance artists. They were also curated into the GOMA Q: Queensland Contemporary Art exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art last year.

Instagram: ClarkBeaumont





12. Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Since establishing Youth Without Borders, an organisation that works with communities for positive change, the social advocate, design-thinker and mechanical engineer has been named the Queensland Young Australian of the Year and the Young Leader in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Twitter: Yassmin_A





13. Margie Fraser

Margie (that's her on the left!) is one of the most respected writers and editors in Australia, and is a contributor to Vogue Living and Q Weekend. She specialises in art, architecture and design, and promotes emerging designers through consultancies and publicity work. Her latest venture, More Margie, is an online publication that follows her adventures in design in the Asia Pacific. 

Twitter: MoreMargie





14. Naomi Price

The cabaret singer and theatre practitioner wowed the nation with her powerful performances on The Voice, ultimately making it as a Season 2 Runner Up. Naomi is currently touring Australia as part of her Adele-homaged ‘Rumour Has It’ tour.

Facebook: Naomi.Price.Fanpage



15. Michael Zavros

Michael is one of Australia’s leading artists, and is a recipient of the world’s richest portraiture prize, the Doug Moran Prize. He also serves on the National Association for the Visual Arts board, and recently collaborated with Youngcare on a project to help raise funds to build housing options and provide grants for young people who would otherwise be living in aged care.

Instagram: MichaelZavros




Adopted from TEDx’s ethos of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading', this Queensland initiative brings people together through events, programs, and online discussions that centre around innovative enterprises and change-making.

Facebook: TEDxSouthbank