Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Mangkaja Arts is located in the centre of Fitzroy Crossing. It began as an extension of Karrayili Adult Education Centre, first established in 1981 for local people who wanted to learn the English language. The initiative, led by local men, provided a place where people could study and paint their personal stories, bush trips and histories.
In the early days, artists worked with very few resources and travellers bargained directly with the producers of the works. Today, Mangkaja Arts receives government funding and functions as a fine art gallery, specialty store and studio space for artists to paint and make cultural artefacts.
The art centre has produced a number of important artists recognised for their contribution to the modern phase of Australian Aboriginal art including Wakartu Cory Surprise, Janangoo Butcher Cherel, Paji Honeychild Yankarr, Boxer Yankarr, Nyirlpirr Ngalyaku Spider Snell, Ngarralja Tommy May, Janyka Ivy Nixon, Mawukura Jimmy Nerrimah, Jikila Nada Rawlins and Sonia Kurarra. Renowned artists Kuntika Jimmy Pike and Jarinyanu David Downs also enjoyed long associations.
Mangkaja is a Walmajarri word for the wet weather shelters erected during wet season. Mangkaja Arts is a community of artists who share land, history and culture. The diversity of artists' backgrounds, between the river and the desert, upbringings and ages is evident in the work with a mix of imagery drawn from traditional, town and station life. Some of the artists have been painting for more than thirty years, they employ a full palette of acrylic colours with vibrant results. They have worked together in groups at Karrayili and Mangkaja yet, despite this communal approach, the artists have retained highly personalised styles. Artists have exhibited nationally and internationally and the corporation has an exhibitions program that seeks to maintain a balance between group and solo shows.
Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation
8 Bell Rd, Fitzroy Crossing, WA, 6745
(PO Box 117, Fitzroy Crossing, WA, 6765)
(08) 9191 5833