Friday, May 10, 2013
Always exciting and enjoyable the Calleen Art Award and Central West Regional Art Award aim to foster creativity, diversity and an appreciation of the visual arts in the local community. The Calleen Art Award was initiated by Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM in 1977 and during the past 37 years the award has developed nationally as a major acquisitive art prize for painting. The Central West Regional Art Award is a non acquisitive award for painting and drawing and was established by the Gallery in 2009. This year 229 entries were received from across Australia and 72 artworks were selected for exhibition by a pre-selection panel.
The 2013 Awards opening was on Saturday 4 May and over 110 people attended the special reception and preview of the finalist’s exhibition. Guests initially gathered in the foyer of the Cowra Civic Centre for the official speeches including the announcement of the awards winners by the Awards’ Judge Anne Flanagan. As guests arrived they were treated to the delightful flute music of local duo ‘Tout Suites’. Also, in the Gallery during the preview of the exhibition guests were entertained by the delightful music of ‘Consonance’ a touring ensemble of students from Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The winner of the 2013 Calleen Art Award of $17,000 is Gladdy Kemarre from Utopia in the Northern Territory for her painting Anwekety (Bush Plum), 2012 acrylic on linen 183 x 121 cm.
“This painting is dazzling. The work vibrates with a hundreds of luminous orange and red dots that seem to dance before your eyes. This shimmering surface composed of fine, brightly coloured dots floats across a deep field and draws you in just as the landscape does. Gladdy has created a mesmerising work that speaks about her country and the seasonal colours of the bush plum that so dominate that landscape.”
Highly Commended awards went to Bathurst based artist Rachael Ellis for her work Orange wall, Bathurst 2013 oil on canvas 120 x 100cm and Newcastle based artist Lesley Tilley for Static electricity posing as a coral fern, 2013 acrylic on canvas 152.5 x 152.5cm
The winner of the 2013 Central West Regional Art Award of $2000 is Peelwood artist Jo Bertini for her work Wongitta Wadi Gold (Simpson Desert), 2012 oil on canvas 130 x 130cm.
“Jo’s large, square painting has a magic to it. The bright blue sky is like a ribbon that holds the animated brush stokes in place. The brush strokes move quickly across the canvas and are filled with all the warmth of the desert landscape – pink, ochre, yellow, red and a tantalizing orange that fills the foreground. The painting is carried out with confident speed and yet, as in the tradition of the oil sketch, has a keen descriptive quality.”
Highly commended awards went to Anne Stanley from Cowra for her work To the Edge, 2013 acrylic and mixed media on canvas 47.5 x 47.5cm and Blackheath based artist Robert Malherbe for River 11, 2013 oil on linen 61 x 76.2 cm.
There is also a People’s Choice Award for $500 which is announced at the end of the exhibition.
This is a “must see” exhibition for young and old and should not be missed.
Gallery of opening night – images by Gwen Clark