ROOMIES ARTSPACE started as a series of art workshops in Inner West boarding houses conducted in 1996 and 1997 by KANCAM (later Inner West Cultural Services). In 1999, this developed into fortnightly workshops at the Tom Foster Community Centre in Newtown under the aegis of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s Boarding House Project.
This award winning art group has had several sell out exhibitions since 1999 and it has long been a dream of the artists and art workers (many of whom are volunteers) to have a space of their own. ROOMIES are people with mental illnesses or disabilities who live in the community in a boarding house. ROOMIES have very little money, they share rooms and often clothing and personal possessions. They have very little privacy and no space to themselves.
With the assistance of Addison Rd Gallery and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, ROOMIES ARTSPACE was founded at the Addison Rd Community Centre in an old army hut. ROOMIES ARTSPACE was officially opened in October 2005 by Archibald prize winning artist Cherry Hood, with a sellout exhibition and a highly enjoyable opening party.