New committee forging a new trail for GBART


By Tania Phillips

The Granite Belt Art Trail, or GBART as its affectionately known, may be more than a year away but with a brand-new committee now in place, planning is already well underway.

The bi-annual event is set for 24-26 October 2025 and will, according to new president Krishna Heffernan, carry the theme “celebrating creativity”.

“We are wanting anyone, or any organisation, that has something creative to do, show or promote to contact us,” she said.

“They can send an email to or call me on 0408221771.”

She said the new committee, which was elected earlier this month, is hitting the ground running.

“We’ve got a new committee that’s come in and obviously will bring something fresh and a bit different to the event,” Krishna explained.

“The idea is to grow it. To use the trail as our base for what we want to do. We’re hoping to add other focus points to the event, so it just becomes a celebration of creativity.”

Krishna said there was so much diversity of talent in the region and she hoped that the trail could become more of a festival and celebration of all things creative not just art but food, music, theatre, dance, and poetry.

“When we moved here to Stanthorpe, I was blown away by how creative this community is,” she said.

“Nearly every second person tells you they’re doing something arty or creative or crafty. I was like wow – it’s just amazing.”

“There are so many different groups who are doing things. You’ve got Artworx up at the railway, you’ve got Borderline who have artists from Tenterfield and Stanthorpe and in between, you’ve got the art gallery that promotes and supports everybody and then on top of that you have other little groups.

“There’s photography group, there’s a little group that just does botanical type art, there’s the Little Theatre that does all the performance stuff.

“I’m going to a dance group at the moment – there’s a couple of them around.

“That’s another form of creativity and then you have all the choirs, music groups and dancing groups for younger kids, it just goes on and on and on.”

Krishna and the new committee was looking forward to the challenge of moving the event forward and building on what the founders had created.

“I just think that the event itself is a great way for people to see artists and last year I was helping with their marketing and sponsorship,” she said of why she stepped up for the committee this time around.

“I was sort of like their go-to person to get that side of things organised. Then the whole committee, who had been there for five years, said it’s time for us to retire. There were positions available and I didn’t want to see it fall over or anything like that.

“My career background, if you want to call it that, before I semi-retired, had been in management and coordinating programs in education and community service work. So, I thought, I’ve got the skills to do it and I really don’t want to see this just go – to have people say well that was a nice idea and then it’s gone away. So, I stepped up.”

She said the committee was looking forward to their new challenges.

“We have the event bi-annually so we’re always on what we call the uneven years so 2025, that way we’re offering something different to Apple and Grape which is on the even years,” Krishna said.

“It’s usually always in the last weekend of October and it’s normally a three-day event. Now we might change that a bit, it might grow a bit who knows, we’ve got to look at that.

“But I guess the big thing that we want to do is widen the scope of who might come and see us.

“Predominantly because we were just a trail, we had people who were obviously interested in art who would come and have a look. But because we offered a huge number of workshops people would book in for them. Most of those people were predominantly artists and people who wanted to have a go at art.

“While this is going to always be our core business, we want to open up to see it as more like a celebration of creativity, like a festival as well.

“This will mean we will do activities that more families and people who just want to go out and have a fun weekend would come along to, for example, a craft market morning.

“Maybe a concert that highlights musicians and performers or poetry. Things like this that haven’t really been attached to the trail in the past.

“We want to see kids getting in and having a go.

“We want to see whether or not we can add some creative activities for children and that will hopefully bring out more families and local people as well.

“We just want to grow it into a major creative event for Stanthorpe and the region.

“The other focus we want to change, we’ve had our artists who want to book in and do their art, but because we want to change this into a creative focus, we want to involve more of the organisations in the community.

“I’ve been asking them to think about how, as an organisation, they might take on an activity or something they would like to do that showcases their creative endeavours.

“It could be Little Theatre as an example – what would they like to do as a group?

“We’ve got the pottery club; we’ve got artisan food makers – what would they like to do as a group?

“I’m trying to think outside the box – how do we show case creativity.

“That’s kind of the push that I would like to see.”