Jitta Gallery is 100% Indigenous owned and operated. My name is Freda Masina and I am the owner of Jitta Art. I’m a Tableland Yidinji/Kuku Thayan woman and I live in Innisfail.
“Jitta Art was set up as a company so we could employ family to earn a living and send our children to get the best education so they can to pursue their own dreams and make them a reality.”
I had always dreamed of owning my own art gallery/café from a young age even before I left school. In my late 40’s I took up painting and loved it to the point that I turned my house into a ‘paint shop’.
The year I turned 50 I decided the time was right for me to retire and have a go at making my dream a reality. So in 2012, I opened a small gallery. Family and friends attended the night and the Gallery looked spectacular with the artwork on the walls. I felt it was worth every bit of time and effort. Since the opening, it continued to be a real struggle to keep Jitta Art going but for the financial support and love of family and friends I would most certainly have given up. We continue to network, to learn new skills, family give support with new ideas, and the strong support of my family and friends leads me to believe that Jitta Art will continue to grow and be able to sustain our family and our artists who trust us with their art.
In 2020 I sustained an injury to my left shoulder requiring me to have total shoulder reconstruction which is now on the back burner with the coronavirus epidemic in full swing in 2020—Jitta Art continues to move slowly. We create and design original authentic products; run cultural workshops; design and paint murals; learned to revive our cultural practice of weaving and grow in confidence and our own abilities. Our children show a keen interest in our cultural weaving techniques and we encourage them so they are able to appreciate the true value of their heritage.
I’m now 63, it has been an eleven-year journey since I started thinking about Jitta Art. I still have the drive and the belief that it is the right way to go and over the years have met many wonderful people who have helped us greatly and continue to do so and I cannot thank them enough. I intend to have the biggest celebration once we relaunch our business online and hope that you will all join in and share our story.
Thank you Freda Masina