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Artist impression of building on stilts proposed to attract visual artists to Queanbeyan

An artist's impression designed to pave the way for Queanbeyan to become a "real art city" has been revealed.

The impression is of a gallery designed to sit above the existing café and heritage-listed building on the banks of the Queanbeyan River and has been labelled "ambitious" by Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall.

Considered a pie in the sky by artist and Queanbeyan Art Society president Barry Cranston, the idea came to life through a simple cut and paste.

Mr Cranston's impression of a new building to host international, national and regional art was a few years in the making.

 "I've been saying for a couple of years that we need to put something up there, verbally and without much response," Mr Cranston said.

"I thought I'd pull something together, and this will get them thinking anyhow."


The design, a glass-fronted building on stilts, is variable, according to Mr Cranston.

"I'm sure there are architects out there that could design something better than I've cut and pasted," he said.

"To see it sitting up like that, it looks like a bit of a pie in the sky. With the right architecture and everything, it would be the best seat in the house of Queanbeyan, with the view it would have."

Mr Cranston said the art society was in need of a new space to accommodate its growing membership. With 300 members from across the state and as far as Queensland in the ranks, he said the society was only going to get bigger.

The society's current residence, a heritage-listed building owned by council – pictured underneath the new gallery proposal – was too small for the number of exhibitions the society holds, Mr Cranston said.

"Our art society is a gem, there is no doubt. If we don't look ahead, we will be the shrivelled up mushroom on the riverbank."

The design was intended to get people thinking about what could be done to the riverbank, said Mr Cranston.

"This would be a bit of a hallmark, to show that the other side of the bridge is worthy of development."

Cr Overall said in one word, he would describe the idea as ambitious.

"It's always good to see ideas generated by the community that generate discussion," Cr Overall said.

"We must be careful to protect the river, and the river vista. Anything we do has to be supported by the community."