• Karen Kinnersly

An Artful Pursuit

MURWULLIMBAH ART TRAIL (MAT) is back on in May 2022 and you’re all invited. Weaving in and around the historical town of Murwillumbah and valley surrounds, pop up galleries will take over vacant buildings and cultural precincts like M’Arts will host events to celebrate all things creative.


MAT, now in its seventh year, is a collaboration of artists from across the Northern Rivers, offering a jam-packed program that has been thoughtfully curated to pay homage to local artists, from emerging to indigenous, working in an array of mediums.

Painters, sculptors, visual artists, and performers showcase their talents on the interactive trail map. Meander your way from the green valley hamlets to the centre of the art deco town of Murwillumbah, visiting artists in their studios along the way. MAT will be popping up in the character buildings and open green fields to celebrate the artists, the makers, the storytellers, the poets and the creatives that make up the Tweed region, kicking off with the opening event at the historical Murwullimbah Showgrounds with the picturesque Wollumbin mountain views as the backdrop.

MAT culminates on Saturday night with a colourful soiree at M’arts’ Arts After Dark’ event, where artists will open their studios to showcase their handmade wares. Enjoy global street food, a bar serving local beverages and live music to celebrate the festival.


Founder of the MAT festival, Annie Long, says, “I had a vision for the festival way back in 2015, at that time in Murwillumbah there were a lot of empty shops and the town itself was in a bit of an economic slump. I wanted to provide more opportunities for artists to exhibit.Creating MAT was a way to focus on the town, its art, culture, people, and we identified the economic benefits the arts bring to a regional town. Looking back on the past seven years minus the pandemic trials and tribulations, we managed to create an annual event that transforms the town of Murwillumbah and surrounding villages.”

The creative heartbeat of the Tweed, Murwillumbah takes in the charm of the coast, the serenity of the river and the stunning views across the valley. The Murwillumbah Art Trail offers the public a unique opportunity to meet the artists in their studios and visit historic halls and pop-up galleries along the way.


MAT ’22 Production Manager Peita Gardiman says, “The Murwillumbah Art Trail is an exhibition of contemporary art that showcases over eighty visual artists from the Tweed Valley and surrounds. We are thrilled to promote a network of established galleries and artists’ studios, creating pop up exhibitions for local artists to showcase their talents, and encourage visitors to download a free copy of the MAT interactive map and take a drive through some of the most picturesque countryside in Australia.”

A showcase of a diverse range of other art forms will also be on display across the weekend, including printmaking, sculpture, fine glass, mosaic, jewellery, and ceramics.

Meet the artists, book into a creative workshop, and visit the quaint towns of Uki, Tumbulgum and Tyalgum. The Tweed region is home to an abundance of creativity, and you can explore the renowned Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre with an array of national touring exhibitions.

Discover some of the region’s best kept creative secrets, taste some of the freshest Tweed produce at award-winning eateries, and shop at a plethora of independent boutiques dotted along the way.

Murwullimbah Art Trail (MAT) will run from 28-29th May 2022. For the full program and further information visit murwillumbahartstrail.com.au


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