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Kangaroo Valley Art Prize Impresses Critics and Crowds

A Mittagong artist has won the Kangaroo Valley Art Prize Exhibition which was labeled one of the best regional art shows in Australia by an industry expert. 

The exhibition, hosted at the Kangaroo Valley Hall over the long weekend, attracted more than 1000 visitors. 

Arts in the Valley visual art director Professor Gary Moore said organisers were overwhelmed by the number of entries from artists right across the country. “We expected about 120 entries of which we’d pick the best 100, but we had 418 entries,” he said. “We were completely overwhelmed.” 

While there were a number of entries from the South Coast, Illawarra and Southern Highlands, there were also entries from Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. 

Judged by art consultant and advocate Natalia Bradshaw and Therese Kenyon, prominent Sydney artist, educator, writer and former director of Manly Art Gallery, the Kangaroo Valley Art Prize was awarded to Robyn Kinsela of Mittagong, for her work Rain Setting In.

Ms Kenyon said selecting the winner was “weirdly easy”.  “[Rain Setting In] was seen as a little gem,” she said. 

“It was chosen as the winner because of the choice of colour, the paint handling and subject matter. The composition had a really satisfying feeling overall.” 

Highly Commended prizes were awarded to photographic piece, Byzantium, by Minuella Chapman and video piece Music, by Jon Frank. Ms Kenyon said the exhibition was so interesting due to the huge array of mediums used to create each piece. 

“In the visual arts these days there are so many techniques and types of work and a lot of them are represented here, most of them actually,” she said. 

Mr Moore said by the end of the exhibition more than 30 per cent of the exhibition had sold. 

“Therese said that in a lot of shows that she judges, they’re happy to sell 10 per cent of the exhibition,” he said. “Thirty-seven artworks were sold from $150 to $5200, with total sales over $30,000.” 

A solo exhibition by Vanessa Stockard was also held in conjunction with the Kangaroo Valley Art prize. 

”The whole exhibition has been fantastic and we are chuffed with the response,” Mr Moore said. “Curator Allan Baptist OAM, said it was the best regional art show he’d seen in all of Australia.” 

Gary Moore and Therese Kenyon

Ref: South Coast Register, Wednesday 3rd October, 2018


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