|The Burnie Coastal Art Group was formed in 1952 by a small group of artistic people that saw the need for local artists to be able to speak as a collective voice and to foster and encourage art in North West Tasmania. Between the years of 1979 and 1985, a small gallery was established in downtown Burnie where a numerous variety of exhibitions were held. Then, in September 1985, the group purchased the Uniting Church in Upper Burnie. This is now known as Studio 2 Eleven and, apart from the Gallery, incorporates a classrooom, storage rooms and catering facilities. The Studio 2 Eleven building recently had its 100 year birthday.|
In 1979, inspired by the success of the Camberwell Art Exhibitions, the Group held an exhibition at Hellyer College, named the Tasmanian Art Exhibition. From these humble beginnings, the exhibition moved to the Burnie Regional Art Gallery in 1982 and, over the ensuing years, has developed into one of the major art events in Tasmania. This exhibition is now known as the Burnie City Council TASART Exhibition which draws thousands of visitors to our region every September/October. TASART coincides with Burnie Shines and is an important event in showcasing the rich and diverse artistic resource that exists not only in Tasmania but also in Australia as a whole.
Being a community based, not for profit organisation, organising and administering an event on the scale of TASART requires not only many many hours of time freely given by its members but also a great deal of generosity on the part of Tasmanian businesses. These businesses kindly donate products and services and, above all, the prize money for the awards that form the basis of the TASART rewards program. Without all their help, BCAG would be unable to curate such a prestigous event on the scale of the Mancell Financial Group TASART Exhibition.