Bright beginnings for renowned art centre


Some of Australia’s finest Aboriginal artists can now work their magic in greater comfort.

Keringke Arts Aboriginal Corporation used a grant from the Territory Government’s Aboriginal Business Development Program to refurbish and renovate an old building next to the community arts centre at Ltyentye Apurte, also known as Santa Teresa, in Central Australia.

Corporation manager Bryce Hartnett says, “It was once a ration store and hadn’t had a cent spent on it since it was built in the 1950s.”

The smart new-look studio will enable artists to be more productive, which will enhance the Territory’s world-class Aboriginal art scene.

It will also create more jobs - eight women already work full-time at the arts centre.

“We are very keen to expand,” says Bryce.

About 50 artists in the 500-strong community earn an income from their work.

The Aboriginal Business Development Program, which is administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, helps Aboriginal people interested in starting or expanding an existing business in the Territory with:

  • business growth and sustainability
  • creating new enterprises
  • increasing the number of Aboriginal owned and operated businesses
  • increasing your knowledge and skills
  • creating new employment
  • developing new skills.

The package includes one-on-one support from a small business champion.

Keringke Arts started as a short fabric making course in 1987 - and it soon became clear that the artists had a distinct style of bright colours.

The arts centre was built two years later.

Ltyentye Apurte community takes its name from the stand of bloodwood trees that grow at the foot of hills to the west.

Keringke is the name of a nearby important rock hole, which was formed when an ancestor kangaroo travelled through the country.

Several of the Keringke artists have responsibilities associated with the rockhole.

If you would like to discuss your circumstances or you’re looking for support under one of the departments business programs please contact our small business champions team by phone 08 8999 5497 or email

Artist painting

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