Toukley & Districts Art Society was established in 1982 to encourage and promote the visual arts on the Central Coast, NSW.
The building operated as a Tourist Information Centre and the Tourist Authority ceased this service; in 1996 the society was able to occupy the building to be conducted as the Federation Art Gallery and Tourist Information Centre. The building is the property of Central Coast Council and the society operates out of the facility. It provides for society meetings, workshops, tutorials, exhibitions, informal paint-ins, library and Tourist Information. Members and non-members, alike, are welcome to join in our workshops, informal groups and classes.
When we gained the use of the building it was relatively small with a large verandah. Permission to enclose the verandah area was obtained from Council and an application made for a Grant under the Federation Community Project’s Program.
A grant of $50,000 was obtained from Wyong Shire Council for improvements to the Art Centre and we were able to enclose the verandah and create an attractive and functional art centre. Actual construction work was completed in June 1999 and fitting out continuing until October 1999 when the grant was fully expended and before the improvement program could be completed. In July 1999, advice was received that our application for a Federation Grant had been approved for $23,210 which we received in October and December 1999. This allowed the improvements to commence, and with Council’s assistance, were completed in September 2000. A shade structure has also been erected and this compliments the centre visually and provides for outdoor art activities and for recreational use by the community.
In August 2007 we commenced further improvements to the gallery.
A workshop area totally funded by our Society with community funds at a cost of $36,000, was built. After a Development Application was approved by Wyong Shire Council (now Central Coast Council), the work was carried out by the Wesley Mission Work for the Dole organisation. This work was completed early March 2008. Without the Work for the Dole scheme, we would not have been able to achieve this project.
A mural, designed by one of our members, was painted on the outer walls. The official "unveiling" was on 15th April, 2014.
The display of member’s artwork is changed every 2 months; finance to cover overheads, running expenses and general maintenance is raised from commission of the sale of artworks and from kiosk sales. The centre is now open seven days per week 10.00am to 4.00pm. The gallery is staffed entirely by volunteers from the society (nearly 120 members and growing).
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the gallery temporarily closed its doors from late March to 30 June 2020.
On 1 July 2020, a fresh, new exhibition was opened.
In July, 2020, refurbishments to the Silver Playground adjoining the gallery were completed, along with a "gym" area as seen on our home page. The much larger playground has attracted record numbers of visitors to the park.