Monday, March 15, 2010

Jukebox Paintbox Exhibition

Bernadine Streeter (centre) with members of the Jailhouse Rock committee.

Marcella Crowley and Bernadine Streeter announcing the winners.

Ararat Regional Art Gallery's staff were pleased to welcome 40 community members to the launch of the Jailhouse Rock Festival last Wednesday. The launch was an opportunity to celebrate the festival's commencement and enabled the Jailhouse Rock Festivals committee to thank its many friends and supporters. This gathering also provided a great opportunity to introduce community members to the Gallery's current Jailhouse Rock exhibition 'Jukebox Paintbox'. This community access exhibition is our contribution to the 2010 Festival program and builds on last year's successful community exhibition, 'Discard to Disc Art'.

The concept behind 'Jukebox Paintbox' was that people respond artistically to a classic rock'n'roll song from a jukebox playlist. Each entrant was provided with a small canvas as part of their challenge and artists of all abilities were encouraged to enter their work. There was no selection process as the exhibition is essentially about promoting participation in the visual arts with everyone encouraged to have a go. A few prizes were on offer to keep things interesting. Sue Kennedy of Pomonal took out the $150 open prize for her painting, 'Tutti Frutti (after Arcimboldo)'. Sue's work was selected as the winning work by local artist, Carolyn Thomas, who is also the director of Off the Beaten Track Wine and Art Gallery in Buangor.

Carolyn was especially taken by Sue's homage to the Italian Mannerist painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who is known for his intriguing portraits of people whose images are made entirely out of fruit and vegetables. In this case, Sue's portrait captured the likeness of Little Richard, who is famous as the singer and composer of 'Tutti Frutti'. The Jailhouse Rock Festival director's award was judged by Bernadine Streeter and presented to Rosemary Wilson for her painting, 'Blueberry Hill at the Central Hotel'. Bernadine presented her award to the painting that she felt best captured the character of the Jailhouse Rock Festival.

Both judges were full of praise for those who contributed to this fun and colourful exhibition celebrating rock'n'roll culture. The People's Choice Award is being tallied today following the receipt of many votes over the festival weekend. The winner of the award will receive a voucher from Blue Whippet Art Supplies. The exhibition continues until March 28.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tea Party: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria

Dr Morna Sturrock AM officially opening 'Tea Party'

Last Thursday evening a crowd of around 100 people attended the launch of Ararat Regional Art Gallery's latest exhibition, "Tea Party: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria". The exhibition includes objects from the Gallery's own collection, historic tea cosies and aprons from the Embroiderers Guild's collection, contemporary tea cosies by guest artists and works borrowed from public and private collections.

A highlight of the exhibition is an afternoon tea table setting made by the Guild's Ararat branch members featuring knitted, crocheted, felted and embroidered cakes, sandwiches, slices and, of course, tea cosies. Many of the women who contributed to this project were in attendance at the opening to celebrate the completion and unveiling of their amazing collaborative artwork.

The opening attracted a strong contingent of Embroiderers Guild members from across Victoria, including representatives from the executive committee, its entire 50th anniversary sub-committee and members of branches in Geelong, Hamilton, Ballarat and as far as Mildura. Many people heading home from the Grampians Texture textile event at Halls Gap also stopped by to attend the opening.

We were especially honoured to welcome two distinguished guest speakers at the opening - Dr Morna Sturrock AM and Janet de Boer OAM, who are both well-known and highly respected textile art identities. Their respective opening remarks were warmly received by the large audience and provided a valuable context for appreciating 'Tea Party' and its contribution to the Guild's state-wide celebration. The exhibition continues until 4 April.