Visual Arts Exhibition 2016
In 2016, for the first time, the Visual Arts Exhibition was held in the alternate year to the biennial music Festival. The Exhibition was held in the Kangaroo Valley Hall with professional gallery track lighting, a larger number of artworks, prize money and increased sales. It was now established as a stand-alone arts exhibition, part of the many-faceted Arts in the Valley calendar of classical and contemporary music, sculpture and the visual arts. Opened by Alice Oppen OAM, three prizes were given: $1000 Peoples’ Choice Prize won by Jocelyn Pitman for “Under the Bridge” and two smaller prizes won by Tish Banks and Robin de Vis for weekend “Sketches of the Village
Prize Winners 2016
Under the Bridge
Jocelyn Pitman Winner, People's Choice Award
Sketch the Village Tish Bank Winner, Sketch the Village
Sketch the Village
Robin de Vis
Winner - Sketch the Village
Close to 40 artists exhibited 72 art works in all media – oil, acrylic, water colour, pastel, graphite, texta, screen prints, photography and mixed media. Works ranged from photorealism through impressionism to abstraction, and included photography (not always photorealistic) and mixed media. Many works had a deep attention to detail and draughtsmanship, with a fine treatment of light, and rendered beautifully, like Jocelyn Pitman’s acrylic 'Under the Bridge', Leah Parrish’s 'Spinning Hill Farm' in pencil graphite and Susan Hansel’s 'Magpie Mafia' in texta.
A number of works were abstracts like Jo Novich’s 'Emerald City' and Carla Jackett’s 'Burnt Ember', and others abstract based on nature like Jim Birkett’s mixed-media 'Embedded in the Land' series and Brian Graham’s pastels 'Upper River Cliffs' and 'Fitzroy Falls Cliff Faces'. There were also a number of brilliant photographs, beautifully curated amongst the other pieces, like Colin Talbot’s surreal 'Symphony' and 'Nightmare'.
Comments at the opening and during the weekend highlighted the new LED track lighting and excellent curation by Allan Baptist, both enhancing the quality of the work. But it was the work that shone.
Critical acclaim was all positive. An art teacher from Bateman’s Bay remarked that for a regional show, it was very high quality. Others said the quality was noticeably higher than previous years with a wider range of regional artists from the Highlands, the South Coast and Sydney.
The exhibition was driven by an Art Committee of Larraine Hahlos, Sue Hansel, Dawn Daly and Belinda Webster OAM as Artistic Director and Gary Moore helping on the side.
The show was organised and curated by well-known artist and curator, Allan Baptist OAM, and was official opened by Alice Oppen, OAM.
Belinda Webster summarised it well: “I thought the exhibition had a terrific variety of work, all of it of excellent quality. Our local artists have responded really well. Some of the art works were breathtakingly beautiful. The lighting has been one of the reasons we’ve not staged so many art exhibitions in the past; we can now rely on this being available whenever we need it.”