THE Atwell House Art Centre had a lucky escape recently when early-morning walkers noticed a fire engulfing its rear verandah and called the fire brigade before the historic building suffered major damage.
Centre co-ordinator Chris Marshall told the Herald the fire was probably started by a carelessly discarded cigarette, and had just got into the timber roof beams when fireys arrived and put it out.
Ms Marshall says despite losing power and access to the inside toilet, members of a senior’s painting class weren’t discouraged and simply held their session outside on the day of the fire and used the old-style backyard dunny.
Atwell House was was well known as Henry Atwell’s dairy, while he was also well regarded as a horse breeder and prominent member of the WA Hunt Club.
Repairs are being carried out by Melville council, which owns the building, but meanwhile the gallery’s showing off the work of its tutors.
Talented Teachers features the work of most of the centre’s tutors, plus musings on their teaching philosophy and some examples of their students’ work. It’s open until tomorrow, Sunday March 26.
by STEVE GRANT