Visual Arts History
Under the leadership of our founding Artistic Director, Belinda Webster OAM, the inaugural 2007 Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival presented an Australian first in which musicians and artists (painters and sculptors) collaborated to create new works. It was Belinda Webster’s vision to showcase the integration of the arts in the intimate splendour of Kangaroo Valley. The 2007 Festival and several thereafter included classical and contemporary music, sculpture, visual arts, poetry and architecture, working together in the same settings.
The collaborating musicians and artists in 2007 were Brett Dean with expressionist painter Heather Betts, Alice Giles with stone and wood sculptor Rosemary Madigan, and one of Australia’s favourite cellists David Pereira with fellow-Canberra contemporary painter, photographer and installation artist Micky Allan who created a completely new work in which the artists improvised together.
The 2007 Festival also included the first Visual Arts Show. The inaugural prize winners were Larraine Hahlos and Sheila Young in painting and Matthew Hill in photography. (images not available)
In 2009, the second Visual Arts Show was held again in conjunction with the biennial music and arts Festival. The winner of the visual arts prize was Kangaroo Valley artist Githa Pilbrow whose paintings, drawings and linocuts are inspired by the surrounding escarpments, river and hidden valleys.
Winner 2009 Visual Arts Prize
Lyre by Githa Pilbrow
In 2011, internationally exhibited contemporary painter Micky Allan again performed with renowned cellist David Pereira at a combined Hausmusik and visual arts concert at the magnificent Cedar Grove in Kangaroo Valley, a future site for Sculpture in the Valley.
Growing too large for any available venue during the busy May Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival weekend, the Visual Arts Show was reintroduced in 2013 by then president, John Wright, on a separate date at a separate venue.
Open at that time only to Kangaroo Valley artists, local sculptor and visual artist Archie Zammit-Ross was the Peoples’ Choice winner in visual arts.
Winner 2013 Visual Arts Prize
Red-Browed Finches by Archie Zammit-Ross
Themed Music & Art, visual arts featured prominently in the integrated music and arts 2015 Festival. An exhibition of artworks was created by local artists and displayed at the heritage Kangaroo Valley Hall during the concert of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition played by Simon Tedeschi. Acclaimed Southern Highlands artist Carlos Barrios, finalist in several art prizes like the Blake Prize, Sulman Prize, Fisher Ghost Art Prize and more, created an original art work for the Festival and highly recorded multi-instrumentalist and artist David Hudson played the didgeridoo and painted.
In 2016, for the first time, the Visual Arts Exhibition was held in the alternate year to the biennial Festival. The Exhibition was held in the Kangaroo Valley Hall with professional gallery track lighting, a larger number of works of art, 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, choral workshops, sculpture and the visual arts.
Opened by Alice Oppen OAM, three prizes were given, a $1000 Peoples’ Choice Prize won by Jocelyn Pitman and two smaller prizes by Tish Banks and Robin de Vis for weekend Sketches of the Village.
For more details about the exhibition and prize winners, click here: Visual Arts Exhibition 2016
In 2018, under the direction of the new Visual Arts Director, Professor Gary Moore, we launched the inaugural and sizable Kangaroo Valley Art Prize and embarked on an expanded Visual Arts in the Valley exhibition with a greatly expanded focus to local and regional artists including a specially invited Featured Artist. The Prize and exhibition drew established and emerging artists from the greater Sydney area and south through the Southern Highlands, Canberra, Goulburn, South Coast, Shoalhaven and Illawarra, but was open to all. Entries were received from interstate and throughout NSW. Thanks to generous local donors, prize money was significantly increased to $7000 making possible the inaugural $5000 Kangaroo Valley Art Prize.
For details and a review of the 2018 inaugural Kangaroo Valley Art Prize, please click here Kangaroo Valley Arts Prize 2018
Coming up in 2020
The next Kangaroo Valley Art Prize & Exhibition will be held over the October long-weekend of 2020,
with the Call Out to Artists early in 2020.
For updates, to receive the Call Out and for exhibition and purchasing information, please join our Mailing List.