EVOLVE Gallery:
Rainbow Serpent Festival
(2016-2020)

Melissa Artemis Shemanna: Rainbow Serpent Festival Evolve Gallery Curator;

 I was firstly involved in Australia's most well known arts and music festival; The Rainbow Serpent Festival's EVOLVE GALLERY as a young visionary artist, then for many years exhibiting in the gallery alongside visionary greats such as Alex and Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Andrew Jones (Android), Luke Brown, Luis Tamani and many other internationally recognised Visionary artists.

What initially drew me to want to contribute towards this visionary sub culture, was the quest of esoterically seeking the shared evolution of consciousness with my tribe who were also asking these deeper questions and bringing it out through their paintings and digital art expression. 

After contributing and volunteering my services each year as an artist, and gallery work such as stretching the canvas artworks, helping to hang the exhibition, setting up the gallery etc. As I had already had years of curatorial experience with other galleries, in 2016, I began moving into a more managerial role, helping to co- curate the gallery alongside owner/ manager of the gallery Lisa Ariganello. Ill always be greatful at the wonderful team work we shared; she taught me the ropes of managing the international and local artists, curating the artworks, organising international artworks, prints and merchandise, the hard slog of creating an entire and huge pop up gallery, from scratch in a remote place, in the dire hot Australian peak of summer, with all the things that can happen in nature (lightning strikes, fire, floods- the lot!) I had to make cutting edge decisions to primarily protect the artworks and make sure the show went on and the gallery dazzled!!!! Quite an intense thing to do! but utterly worth it! 

In 2018 - 2020 my role was lead curator, managing the artists throughout the year and organising all their works and merchandise for the gallery shop, artworks, hanging the exhibition, setting up the gallery and also organising the build for the bamboo live painters area and all the artists that went in it! 

In January 2020, just before the festival was due to happen, but after a previous 6 months or more of organisational hard work for the gallery, we had a bushfire on the site and the festival was cancelled, being rescheduled for easter time, we unfortunately then got cancelled again due to the Covid thing. 

So who knows where/when/how this journey back to The rainbow Serpent Festival will come full circle!! Im ever so greatful to have experienced so many years of immersion into the culture and the Evolve gallery itself.