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Lismore diploma graduate builds Evans Head art empire

TAFE NSW Lismore

Lismore diploma graduate builds Evans Head art empire

It was a comical moment that saw TAFE NSW Lismore graduate Tania Alderman go on to open her own now-booming art gallery, Good Evans Art Studio in Evans Head, during the height of COVID-19.

“I was painting in a single garage with my husband and two dogs running around, and my husband decided to blow-vac the van and all my stuff blew everywhere, dog hair and dust sticking to my paintings. I said, that’s it… I need my own space to paint,” Tania said.

That one moment of frustration would lead Tania, an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts graduate, to start her own local art empire.

While the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that 72 per cent of Australian businesses lost revenue due to the pandemic, some defied the odds. Tania’s small business is one of them, with events such as ‘paint and sip’ selling out in a flash.

“I wanted a space to paint, and it turned into so much more. The community was screaming for connection,” she said. “The fact that I was able to succeed in this difficult time goes to show how strongly the arts matter in the Northern Rivers region.”

Today, from her studio in the Evans Head CBD, Tania sells her own paintings for prices in the thousands and promotes a jam-packed schedule of art classes for adults and kids, including activities for those with disability and learning difficulties.

The success of Good Evans Art Studio comes at a time where ABN registrations are booming. There were almost 20,000 new businesses registered nationally in the 2022-23 financial year, according to ABS data.

“I always had a love of art, but I had children and I grew up in a time where you had to get a ‘proper job’,” Tania said. “It turns out, art can be a career but this is a lifestyle I would’ve never achieved without the help of my teachers. I knew nothing about running an art business and I am now run off my feet due to the demand my studio has generated. I am living my dream and that is thanks to my studies at TAFE NSW, as well as the wonderfully welcoming community in Evans Head.”

Fine Arts Teacher Steven Giese said Tania’s success demonstrates the life-changing impact of studying at TAFE NSW.

“Our Diploma program is about so much more than just developing the learners’ artistic practice,” he said.

“Students leave not just job-ready but with the confidence and skills required to start their own commercially viable businesses in the arts. Tania is a fantastic example of that.”

Media contact - TAFE NSW Communications Specialist Lee Tobin,, 0402 087 839.