Rusten House

Rusten House Art Centre is an 1861 NSW Heritage listed building, renovated for reuse as a gallery and workshop facility. Opening for the first time to the public as a community art centre and gallery from mid April 2021, it is owned and operated by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council.

The Centre is located at 87 Collett Street, Queanbeyan, and you can contact staff on 02 6285 6356 if you are interested in either hiring or exhibiting there.

Current and upcoming exhibitions

Gallery 3 - Reading Room Gallery
1 April – 27 May
Nurturing Nature
Heather Groves

Nurturing nature is an exhibition of new woodcuts by Heather Groves. Abstract, figurative, and sculptural forms are observed by the artist at home and in nature. Groves uncovers the tensions among her subjects and uses wordplay and bright colour to exploit her ideas.

Heather Groves - Making mountains out of termite mounds 1_2022_woodcut_Charbonnel ink on kozo paper_ 15 cm x 15cm .jpg

Image: Heather Groves, Making mountains out of termite mounds 1, 2022, woodcut with charbonnel ink on kozo paper, 15 x 15cm. 

Fever Ward Gallery &  Petite Gallery
6 - 27 May 2023
Marsden Art Group

Exposed (2023) is a multimedia exhibition created by artists of the Marsden Art Group, featuring works centred around the theme - Exposed. As a group exhibition, it features a broad range of interpretations, each member bringing their own perspective and history to this exploration of ideas relating to exposure, vulnerability and revelation.

I'll just stand here- acrylic on canvas

Image: Val Gee, I'll just stand here, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 76x76cm.



Rusten House will be CLOSED on 7 April - Good Friday 

  • Wednesday - Saturday - 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday - Tuesday - Closed
  • From Sunday to Tuesday Rusten House workshop space is available for hire

Hire of gallery and workshop

The gallery spaces and workshop are both available for hire.


Exhibitions run for three week blocks with a week for installation and deinstallation and the hire period is from Wednesday to Saturday.


  • Gallery 1 - Fever Ward Gallery (8.8m x 4.2m) (G1) - $250/week - minimum three week exhibition hire total = $750
  • Gallery 2 - Petite Gallery (4.44m x 5.4m) - $125/week - minimum three week exhibition hire total = $375
  • Gallery 3 - Reading Room Gallery - by invitation from Manager
  • Gallery 4 - The Workshop Gallery - by negotiation with Manager


The workshop space is available for meetings, exhibitions, art demonstrations, book launches and more. You can email to find out if we have suitable equipment available and to find out if the space will work for your event.


  • Half day (3 hours) - $50
  • Full day (6 hours) - $80
  • Weekend - $150

Terms and conditions

Click here to view form.

History of Rusten House

Rusten House started off as Queanbeyan's hospital in 1862. It is named after Matron Rusten who was employed along with her husband to care for the ill of the district until 1875.

Over the years it has had many purposes including as a hospital, nurses’ quarters, a home to various allied health services and even a café. The building is strongly associated with one of the region’s most respected Aboriginal elders Queen Nellie Hamilton, who passed away in care on 1 January 1897.

The restoration and transformation of Rusten House into a new art centre commenced in 2013 with a grant from the NSW Government Premier's Rural and Regional Grants Fund. It was further made possible through the Justice and Liquor NSW Infrastructure Grant Fund with matched funding from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and the NSW Government Stronger Communities Fund. It was formerly opened on 21 April 2021.

Past exhibitions

Gallery 1 - Fever Ward Gallery
4 March - 29 April
There are battles yet to win: Feminist Posters 1979 to Now
Alison Alder and various artists. Curated by Cindi Gillmore

This exhibition of screen-printed posters from the collection of acclaimed artist Alison Alder, utilise both anger and humour to graphically illustrate some of the issues and events facing women in their struggle for equal rights over the last five decades in Australia.

This exhibition forms part of the QPRC Women’s Festival and the Queanbeyan-Palerang Heritage Festival. To attend the opening or ancillary events please book through our Women’s Festival page

Image: Alison Alder
Feminist poster - There are battles yet to win

Gallery 2 – Petite Gallery
4 – 25 February
Peace, Joy and Stillness
Susan Hey

In Peace, Joy and Stillness, Hey examines the beauty of light and shadow on water, by taking time in the moment to stop, listen and contemplate water. These special moments can easily be missed and by stopping to look through water from above or below Hey see’s the pattern and movement and feels the stillness and peace, she then translates these experiences into paint.

Image: Susan Hey Floating 8, encaustic on wood

Floating 8 by Susan Hey - encaustic on wood

Gallery 3 - Reading Room Gallery
4 February – 25 March
Under the Sun
Jane Duong

Under the sun is an exploration and celebration of public spaces and historical places in Queanbeyan - through the magic and coincidence that comes with the cyanotype process. Each cyanotype print is handmade, some have unique borders, some created with negatives contact sheets, some dipped directly into the Queanbeyan River, all are one-off photographs on cotton paper.

Image: Jane Duong Untitled, cyanotype print on cotton paper 28 x 40.5 cm  

Untitled - cyanotype print on cotton paper by Jane Duong

Gallery 2 – Petite Gallery
4 – 25 March
A Feminist at My Table
Claire Young and various Artists

A Feminist at My Table is an installation featuring the work of Claire Young from a series of screen-printed tablecloths made to spark conversations about heroes – or villains – over a meal. The feminists featured in this work are Bandler, Chisholm, Contos, Cowan, D’Aprano, Greer, Goldstein and Summers, who, despite their flaws or missteps, were just a few of the women with inspiring achievements who could have been included. Young’s tablecloth installation will be augmented by feminist chairs produced by local female artist to reside around this provocative table. 

Claire Young -A Feminist at my Table 2023.jpg

Image: Claire Young, A feminist at my table 2023, from multi-panel screenprint on cotton and linen tablecloth with hemstitched border. 240 x 143cm


28 October – 17 December – Reading Room Gallery

Helen Peart, Wendy Antoniak & Margaret Steele

Helen Peart, Wendy Antoniak and Margaret Steele are experienced artists who met at the Botanic Art Group at the Australian Botanic Gardens.  They work in varying media including watercolour, coloured pencil, acrylics, scratchboard, graphite and inks.  This exhibition is a collection of works resulting from the study of birds, their movements and habitat, along with reference material from photographs.

Eastern Rosella watercolour by Helen Peart

28 October – 19 November – Fever Ward Gallery & Gallery 2
Amanda Adrian, Prue Power and Lorri Blackwell
‘Enigmatic Pathways’

Amanda Adrian, Prue Power and Lorri Blackwell are working down ‘enigmatic pathways’ creating images that reflect their life experiences, current realities, fears, delights and their hopes for the future and our environment.

Carwoola Summer lino cut print by Amanda Adrian


30 September - 22 October - Fever Ward Gallery and Gallery 2

Sylvie Carter
Valleys, Views and Vines

Canberra born artist, Sylvie Carter, presents over seventy works in a rich and atmospheric solo exhibition exploring and appreciating the beautiful ‘Valleys, Views and Vineyards’ of Lake George, Wamboin, Bowral, Mossvale, Sydney and surrounding NSW region. Works include paintings of wild grasses, deep valleys, shadows and reflections, and the rhythmic land formations captured in oil and watercolour.

Sylvie Carter, Wildgrasses and Duck in Flight at Wingecarribee Creek

Image - Sylvie Carter, Wildgrasses and Duck in Flight at Wingecarribee Creek
Oil on canvas   

1 October - 22 October – Reading Room Gallery
Karen Warburton
Positives & Negatives

Karen transforms wood into unique 3D pieces that unveil deeply personal perceptions of reality in a colourful and textural form. Karen employs layering and different colour palettes to align with the design principles of positives and negatives to create these assemblages.

Photo of Karen Warburton's 3D artwork: Upcycle

Image – Karen Warburton- Upcycle

15 -16 October - Workshop Gallery
AZ Oakley
Happy JP Designs

AZ uses very fine paper cords as the media for her art, incorporating classic knot tying techniques to make 2D and 3D small objects.  This Arts Trail exhibition focuses on festive and ritual objects such as Christmas baubles, New Year’s wreath and jewellery, symbolizing special occasions such as ‘tie the knot’.

Class knot tied baubles


3-24 September - Fever Ward Gallery
Marilyn Hutchinson

FEEL is based on present moment drawings on paper creating  layered, abstract artworks using feelings. These are in response to different music genres, speeches and poetry reading. A second group of works in paint, in homage to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama are referencing her infinity nets, letting feelings lead the way.

Marilyn Hutchinson - Untitled work

Image - Marilyn Hutchinson - Untitled
Soft pastel on paper - 59.4 x 84 cm

3 - 24 September - Gallery 2 and Reading Room Gallery
Celebrating 30 years of Wildcare

Wildcare Queanbeyan is celebrating 30 years of operating in the local area.  Established by volunteers and continuing with that model, Wildcare has continued with its core philosophy of rescue, raise, rehabilitate, release and has saved thousands of native animals, including macropods, birds, reptiles, wombats and small mammals.  This exhibition is about celebrating native wildlife through Wildcare’s eyes and features works in a range of media by Wildcare Members and Friends.

Photograph of a Kingfisher taken by Gary Cheung

Image: Gary Cheung, Kingfisher

2 – 23 July
Paul Martin
The Exploration of Space

A series of paintings based on actual exploration of space in both oil and water colour media. Martin  began this series in recognition of human evolution and ingenuity. He states that if we can do space exploration we can address climate change and human rights issues – this exhibition references this.

Paul Martin's painting Atlas V & Curiosity Landing on Mars 2019

Image : Paul Martin,  Atlas V & Curiosity Landing on Mars 2019
Oil on canvas  1520 x 910mm

Gallery 2 and Reading Room Gallery

2 – 23 July
Ingrid Ferguson, Rick Smyth, Ray Fraser, Jeanette Regan and Amanda Parker
Exploring Sculpture

This exhibition presents the works of a group of artists who delight in exchanging ideas but who have individual preferences in style, material and inspiration. See an eclectic mix of works and materials including stone, bronze and clay and a combination of natural forms and figurative works.

Internationally renowned sculptor and group mentor, Wojciech Pietranik will deliver a talk on sculptural processes at 3pm at the opening on Saturday 2 July.

Ingrid Ferguson Fish sculpture in sandstone

Image: Ingrid Ferguson, Fish
Sandstone - 20 x 40 x 8 cm

4 – 25 June
Mandy Ord, Jodie Zutt and Dennis Mortimer
3% 2022

An exhibition by three artists working in a variety of media; Mandy Ord, Jodie Ohm Zutt and Dennis Mortimer who attended Canberra School of Art during the early 1990s. The exhibition title ‘3%’ refers to a statement made by the Art School director Dr David Williams from his welcome to 1st-year students’ speech.

‘…five years after graduating, only 3% of graduates will have an art practice & only 1% of the 3% will be living wholly off their art practice.’

Opening 2-4pm Saturday 4th June

Blue Pieces of Paper to Get Food - digital print on metal by Jodie Zutt

Image: Jodie Zutt, Blue Pieces of Paper to Get Food
Digital print on metal

26 February - 14 May 2022
Art of the Tea Towel

Featuring a diverse display of Tea Towels from the past six decades. This exhibition explores the personal connections to textile treasures from collectors, designers and makers.

Please join us for a visual celebration of domestic art – the humble tea towel.

Tea towel picturing images of Queanbeyan by John-Pierre Favre


4 March - 2 April 2022
Alison Alder, Rachel Bowak, Mariana del Castillo and Sally Simpson
Making : acts of resistance

Celebrating artists of the Queanbeyan-Palerang region this exhibition spotlights local professionals who explore ideas of social justice, climate change and identity through time invested making practices.

These innovative works reflect contemporary art practice in printmaking, multimedia drawing, animation and sculpture.


Image : left: Alison Alder, Remember Me 2020 (Screen print on paper, aluminium, plastic, steel, electric motor and pump, 120 x 80 x 50cm)
right: Mariana del Castillo, Facades and other baggage 2021-22 (Mixed media, 112 x 226 x 41cm Photo : Alex Asch)

8 – 30 April 2022
Networks Australia
Site Specific - artists respond to Rusten House

This exhibition draws public attention to the history of Rusten House, its architecture, surrounding heritage garden, uses of the building and relationship to community. The artworks of this textiles-based group convey ideas about the early development of Queanbeyan, its health and social systems, its people, approaches to land use and landscape design. There are many stories to be told.


Image: Wendy Dodd, Restoration, Spring fever, A Stitch in Time (Mixed fabrics, thread, paper, polystyrene, each piece 20 x 20x 20 x 35cm)

In conjunction with the exhibition, public programs at Rusten House have been planned. They are designed to bring the artists and the public together. These include the exhibition opening at 2pm then artists’ talks 2.30-3.30pm on Saturday 9 April, an Eco Dye Workshop on 30 April and a Textiles Conservator’s talk and Market Day on 23 April where the public can interact with the artists and buy small handmade items produced by the exhibitors.

Bookings are essential and can be made via the links to Eventbrite below:

3 - 26 February 2022
Yasmin Idriss
The 40+ Project

The 40+ Project is a series of photographs celebrating women in their forties and over. Idriss states ‘The entertainment industry and fashion magazines make it clear they think we are too old and we become invisible. We will NOT be invisible! Moreover, we are certainly never too old to be pampered, photographed, loved, admired and adored.’

Liquid Light

A study of the natural world around us, while playing with the lines between painting and photography. 

Veiled woman by Yasmin Idriss

Image – Yasmin Idriss

12 January - 19 February 2022
Our Forest in Focus | Graham Gall

The Canberra Tree Network is proud to present Our Forest in Focus – A photographic exhibition showcasing some of the region’s most spectacular trees. This exhibition is a collaboration between ACT Government and Government House, Parliament House, Yarralumla Nursery, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Namadgi National Park, National Capital Authority, The National Arboretum Canberra, ANU, Parks and Conservation and QPRC. The stunning photos were taken by local photographer Graham Gall.

Tree Eucalyptus Meliodora Government House by Graham Gall
Image - Graham Gall, Tree Eucalyptus Meliodora Government House
40 x 50 cm

Dreams of another place | Todd Fuller

For ten years, Sydney based Todd Fuller has been crafting hand-drawn animations exploring themes of love, loss, place, community, and difference. These award winning works are narrative based and are derived from Fuller’s experiences with a range of communities, sites, and histories.

'Dreams of another place' presents the story of 'Little Star', a dog who dreamed of going into space as well as other materials relating to Fuller’s animation practice.

Little-star animation by Todd Fuller

Image: Todd Fuller, little star animation still 2, 2015
charcoal, chalk, ink and acrylic on paper 56 x 89cm

Download the Little Star activity sheet here(PDF, 458KB)