Josh Cleary

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CV – BLANK Co-founder

Central Queensland artist Josh Cleary is known for bringing the “urban” of pop culture into the rural environment, fostering community creativity and mentoring the young and talented. His Warholian obsession has resulted in a kaleidoscope of curiously rehabilitated Campbell’s soup cans, cult, celebrity, cartoon and political figures. Students line up outside his art room alongside giant stenciled images of Marilyn Monroe and rat infested cans of Campbell’s soup.

Just as one of his inspirations (Roy Lichtenstein) balanced teaching and art-making; so too Josh juggles a teaching career in rural and remote central Queensland, with travel for exhibitions and workshops throughout Australia and overseas. Josh graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Creative Industries, Visual Art in 2005 and followed this up with a Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching from Central Queensland University. He has been exhibiting throughout Australia and overseas for the past six years including solo shows in Brisbane and Gladstone, as well as group shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Japan and London.

Radical experimentation with paint composition coupled with a postmodern nihilistic approach to art has led to Josh producing bold, confronting and controversial oeuvre that challenges cultural hegemony. From his early beginnings as the recipient of the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum Bursary which enabled his tertiary studies, Josh has gone on to win numerous art awards including the coveted Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Award. He has continued to invest in the social capital of rural and regional youth, donating generously of his time to conduct workshops and collaborate with young emerging artists on local and interstate exhibitions. One of Josh’s graduating art students has gone onto tertiary study in the Creative Industries receiving the same regional bursary that enabled Josh to pursue his career in the arts.

As a typical member of “generation Y” or “generation now”, Josh lives a fast paced lifestyle and is heavily dependent on technology. His multi-layered stenciled comic pop-images provide visual communication that is revolutionary, intense and more importantly, instant. Josh’s work is value free and therefore refreshingly devoid of the trappings of over-worked, over-thought, over-conceptualised, elitist art. (Read more about Josh below his artworks).


Solo Exhibitions

“Over Spray” Mod Cons, Brisbane
“Comic Relief” at ‘The Tidy’ Woolloongabba, Brisbane
“On the Move” at Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum

​​Selected Group exhibitions

Curated and exhibited in “Deck the Halls” Gladstone
“Sweet Streets Award Show” Melbourne
“5kg” Boyne Island Community Centre
“Shark Love” Japan
“Art in Mind” Brick Lane Gallery, London
“Something Else” Freshly Baked and Oh Really Gallery, Sydney
“Caution Wet Paint” Biloela Community Centre
“Caution Wet Paint” Boyne Island Community Centre

Aerosol and stencilling workshops I have facilitated

Moura Recreational Shed
Melbourne Sweet Streets Festival
Monto State High School
Boyne Island Community Centre
Agnes Waters Community Centre
Bundaberg PCYC
Boyne Island Cyber Safety Festival
Mt Larcom –  Knight Eagle

Awards and Prizes

Overall Winner – Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards
Youth Emergent Art Award – Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards
1st Prize Easel Painting Section – Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards
Recipient of the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum Bursary

Education and Training
Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching – Central Queensland University
Bachelor of Creative Industries, Visual Arts – Queensland University of Technology​