Exhibition openings – Wild; The Wilkins Collection

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Commencing at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery this Saturday 19 March are two new exhibitions that explore shared interests in the traditions of Australian landscape, and figurative art. On display will be a special survey of artworks selected from The Wilkins Collection is managed by the Arts Unit, Department of Education, and new paintings by Central West based artist Nic Mason titled WILD.

  • The Wilkins Collection (named in honour of William Wilkins (1827–1892) the first permanent head of the Department of Education in New South Wales) was established in 1974 and has over 900 artworks. The collection continues to grow through the acquisition purchase of 10 new bodies of work. Acquisition works are selected from student submissions in the annual ARTEXPRESS Exhibition Program, showcased throughout NSW Metropolitan and Regional Galleries.This includes paintings sculpture, drawings, graphic design, textiles and photomedia.
    This rare presentation of works from The Wilkins Collection consists of works selected from acquisitions made during the past 20 years. Highlights include several multi-paneled landscape paintings and a collection of fascinating figurative works. This exhibition is a collaborative project by the Cowra Regional Art Gallery with the Arts Unit, Specialist Programs, Department of Education.
  • WILD is the first substantial body of work shown by Nic Mason since she began painting in oils only five years ago. This solo exhibition references Masons’ long background in conservation management and her ongoing relationship with the Australian landscape, specifically the bush and big skies of the Blue Mountains and west of the Great Dividing Range. This environmental focus by Mason who lives in Napolean Reef near Bathurst is mixed with stories from her domestic and family life. The two combined echo Mason’s disquiet about the impact of introduced pest animals on threatened Australian fauna and convey her immersion in living and bringing up a family within this landscape. Narrative and symbolism are integral to this work, where Mason plays with the rendering of animal masks and her recurring red bag. The exhibition also includes two large portraits of work colleagues, Sharon Riley and Dave Noble, whom she has both known for over 10 years. She painted Riley and Noble as they have a deep connection and passion for the land.
    Riley is a local Wiradjuri woman who is passionate about her culture and her obligations to care for her country – land, water and stories of Country. Noble has climbed through hundreds of canyons in the Blue Mountains that very few people have ventured into. In 1994 whilst walking remotely in Wollemi National Park he stumbled across a stand of unusual trees. The sample he took started a quest of discovery and the botanical find of the century. It is the story of the Wollemi Pine. This exhibition opportunity follows Nic Mason’s win of the Central West Regional Art Award in 2015.

Both exhibitions open on Saturday 19 March commencing at 2 pm. The Wilkins Collection: A Survey exhibition will be opened by Kimberley Oates, ARTEXPRESS Project Officer, The Arts Unit, NSW Department of Education. Nic Mason’s WILD exhibition will be opened by Tracey Callinan, Executive Officer, Arts OutWest.


Brian Langer Gallery Director
Cowra Regional Art Gallery
77 Darling Street, Cowra, NSW, 2794
Tel: (02) 6340 2192 M: 0429 072 282
Hours: Tues – Sat, 10am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 4pm. Admission free

Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café

Friday, February 12, 2016

Curated by Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski

Every time you drink a Coke, enjoy a milk shake, ice cream or milk chocolate treat, or go to the cinema, or listen to the latest popular music hit, you can thank Australia’s Greek settlers.

This major photography exhibition explores an important chapter in the development of Australian culture. Critically applauded since its initial launch at the National Museum of Australia in 2008, the curators Alexakis and Janiszewski have cleverly utilised a revealing interplay of historical and contemporary photographs, married to extended oral history captions, and overlaid by a dramatic multimedia presentation created by film-maker Michael Karris, to present a social history exhibition that has powerfully resonated with audiences across the country.

Australia’s Greek café is presented as a global phenomenon in the modern era. Foodcatering enterprises run by Greek migrants/settlers successfully married Hellenic and crosscultural influences with local needs. Greek-run cafés populated Australian country towns and cities, merging local fare with new American food-catering ideas. Prior to the explosion of American fast-food franchises, Greek cafés contributed to a major change in Australian eating habits. While a traditional mixed grill remained a favourite, Greek cafés were known for their introduction of American sodas, ice-cream sundaes, milkshakes, hamburgers, milk chocolate and hard sugar candies, into communities right across Australia.

Alexakis’ stunning photographs capture the Art Deco decor of the cafés, their customers and the owners who worked hard to make their businesses successful, bringing the era of Australia’s Greek cafés to life. Research undertaken throughout Australia and internationally highlights these cafés as a “Trojan Horse” for the Americanisation of Australian popular culture – not only affecting eating habits but also cinema, music and architecture. Throughout most of the twentieth century, Australia’s Greek cafés were powerhouses generating unprecedented social and cultural change.

The exhibition is inclusive of a selection of Cowra’s well-known Greek cafés and milk bars. Many of Cowra’s residents would have memories of enjoying a soda, milkshake or ice cream dessert after the movies at the town’s Greek cafés. These included: the Golden Gate Café, the Golden Key Café, the Garden of Roses Café, the Rose Marie Café, the Regent Café, the Liberty Café and Parris’s Milk Bar.

The exhibition will open on Saturday 13 February with a floor talk by Curator’s Effy Alexakis, Photographer and Leonard Janiszewski, Historian 2016 commencing at 1.30pm. This will be followed by the official opening at 2pm by Leonard Janiszewski, Historian and Curator. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Further information:

Cowra Regional Art Gallery
77 Darling Street, Cowra, NSW, 2794
Tel: (02) 6340 2192
M: 0429 072 282

Hours: Tues – Sat, 10am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 4pm

Admission free
The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a cultural facility of Cowra Shire Council

The curators are available for interviews:

2016 Summer Art Workshops For Children

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The 2016 Summer Art Workshops at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery are designed by tutors with professional art experience. The workshop program includes a diverse range of art activities in a fun environment as well as allowing for the development of individual skills.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Session 1
Wild Animals in Clay with Catherine Bennett
Model animals in clay using hands and tools. Come with an idea of your favourite animal- a wild animal, a sea creature, an Australian bush animal, an imaginary animal. Then they will be glazed and fired and ready to be collected in a few weeks.
7 to 9 year olds – 10am to 12noon
Cost $20 pp – limit 10 participants.

Session 2
Mosaics with Catherine Bennett
In three hours participants will create a mosaic surround mirror with pieces of coloured tiles and brightly coloured grout to then take home and hang it on a wall! All Material provided.
10 to 13 year olds – 1pm to 4pm
Cost $30 pp – limit 10 participants

Friday 22 January 2016

Session 1
Relief Printmaking with Heather Valance
Using relief printing techniques and designing an image based on favourite animals or creatures participants will print onto a canvas bag to take home at the end of the workshop.
7 to 9 year olds – 10am to 12noon
Cost $20 pp – limit 10 participants.

Session 2
Portraiture with Anne Morton
Working with painting and drawing materials participants will create their own portrait on canvas board from a photo they bring to the workshop.
10 to 13 year olds – 1pm to 4pm
Cost $25 pp – limit 10 participants

General Information

Bookings can be made by telephone on 63402190, however, only a completed registration form and payment will secure a workshop place. Only one registration form per child. Forms can be photocopied or a new form can be obtained by contacting the Gallery.

Remember workshop numbers are limited to 10 children for each session. Places fill quickly. To avoid disappointment REGISTER EARLY.

Mail your registration form and payment (cheque or money order by
mail – no cash) to : Cowra Regional Art Gallery 77 Darling Street Cowra NSW 2794 or hand deliver your form with your payment.

Enrolments cancelled after Monday 18 January 2016 will forfeit the workshop fee/s unless the position can be filled.

The Gallery reserves the right to combine classes if minimum
enrolments are not reached.

If a session is cancelled due to low enrollments prepaid
fees will be refunded.

Car parking: Car parking is located next to the Art Gallery off Darling Street.

“Cultural Jewels” at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels commences at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 12 December 2015 and continues to Sunday 7 February 2016. This is the eighth exhibition in the ongoing series Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, initiated by Object Gallery to celebrate the achievements of the most influential and iconic figures within the Australian crafts movement.

Lola Greeno is the first Indigenous Living Treasure in the series. She is a highly respected Indigenous shell worker, sculptor, installation and fibre artist, with more than 30 years of traditional shell necklace making. Her award winning talent in shell-working is magnificently displayed in the exhibition, uniquely championing the traditions and culture of the Indigenous women of Tasmania’s Cape Barren and Flinders Islands. Lola is one of a handful of women shell stringers who have been responsible for ensuring the craft is passed on from their Elders and continued to the present day.

The overarching theme of Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is Storytelling; of the meticulous crafting of stories of cultural knowledge, natural beauty, ancient traditions, and connectedness with her island home. It is also an exhibition of modern issues – contemporary sculptural works feature that are part of Greeno’s response to her concerns for the environmental future of shell stringing in northern Tasmania.

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels features breath-taking works using unusual and beautiful natural materials such as Echidna quill, feather, rare Maireener shell and bone, set in a ground-breaking contemporary installation designed by Project Two.

“It is important to never lose sight of your cultural heritage… Once you own your history you can tell it from your perspective, covering your family’s generations… Learn as much as possible about your own family to tell your own story.” Lola Greeno

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels will be officially opened at 2pm on Saturday 12 December 2015.

Prior to the opening at 1.30pm guest speaker Sandra Brown Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels Curator, Object: Australian Design Centre will present a floor talk about the exhibition. Admission is free to the opening and finger food and local wine will be served. The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street (opposite the World Peace Bell) and open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 2pm to 4pm.

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is supported by Object Australian Design Centre’s National Exhibitions Strategy funded by the Australia Council and is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

Upstart 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Make a note to visit UpstART – Regional Art Exhibition and Awards for Students in Years 10,11,12 at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery during the next 2 weeks. The official opening and announcement of the award winners is on Saturday 21 November from 2pm. Special guest to open the exhibition is Cr Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council.

This ‘must-see’ exhibition is an impressive showcase of artworks including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, 2D digital art, mixed media and sculpture by over 130 young visual artists from 8 high schools in the region. The participating schools for 2015 are Canobolas Rural Technology High School, Cowra High School, Forbes High School, Henry Lawson High Scool, Molong Central School, Parkes High School, Young High School and St Raphael’s Catholic School.

In celebrating the creativity of the participating students we also want to draw attention to the commitment of the art teachers who have assisted the Gallery in organizing the exhibition and the generosity of the awards sponsors Webster Optometrists, The Vineyard Motel, Yellow House Cowra and Eagle Boy Pizza; Community groups the Friends of the Gallery and the Cowra Art Group; and Donors Mrs Margaret Henley and Tommy Jeffs.

UpstART provides new opportunities for young artists in the region by displaying their artwork in a leading public gallery and reaching new audiences.

The 2015 Awards Judge is Tracey Callinan, CEO, Arts OutWest.

Exhibition Dates: 21 November to 6 December 2015

For more information please contact the Gallery on 6340 2190

Cowra Regional Art Gallery
77 Darling Street Cowra NSW 2794
Phone: (02) 6340 2190
Fax: (02) 6340 2191
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am–4pm, Sunday 2pm–4pm
Admission Free