NEA;s Tim Bowtell is currently exhibiting work at Chocolate Lane
Pamella Francis from Chocolate Lane cafe in the lane near the Bridge in Bridge Street loves art. An active member of the Hay arts community before coming to Benalla, Pamella has created a unique 'chocoholics heaven' in a little lane next to the Commercial Hotel.
Late last year Pamella and NEA's Tim Bowtell developed the concept of a partnership between Choolate Lane and NEA which has resulted in an occasional program of exhibitions featuring NEA artists or artists recommended by NEA members.
Merv Beamish's Pop Up Exhibition commenced the exhibition program in mid December 2016, with Merv's warm, impressionistic oil pastels and acrylics perfect for a cafe environment and adding to the welcoming atmosphere at Chocolate Lane.
To add to the atmosphere during the Wall to Wall Festival, Adam Knapper was suggested to Pamela. Adam, who has strong links to the Molyullah area and NEA through his family, exhibited at Chocolate Lane from March 31st to May 13th.. Adam's engaging collection of quirky, affordable café art clearly drew upon his involvement in the graffiti art movement of the eighties. You can read Adam's bio here.
NEA's Tim Bowtell. is currently exhibiting work at Chocolate Lane. Check out Tim's paintings during Chocolate Lane's winter opening hours - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings.
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A 'go to whoa' slide show of Merv's intriguing and practical 'Make your own oil pastels' demonstration and oil pastels workshop.
There is so much happening at NEA currently! Some happenings have warranted their own posts, so this post is a miscellany of snippets...
Kylie and Tim's 'Coffee is where the art is'... pop up cafe in the foyer gallery is a wonderful place to meet people Sam Bowtell (of the Bow N Tell Brothers and Killer Pig Productions') called by on Saturday morning. The Centre in Wangaratta, is continuing to publicise and distribute Killer Pigs' movie 'Slope' and is likely to rescreen it in Wangaratta at end of January, Sam and Jake are also planning to screen 'Slope' at rural cinemas across the north east over the coming months and looking towards crowd funding a DVD to be distributed to schools - a key audience. They are busy on a number of projects, including a feature film - already two and a half years in the making,
Sam and Lauren
The atmospheric courtyard outside the foyer gallery/cafe is now providing a terrific home for the colourful mosaic table which community members contributed to under Deb Dodd's guidance at the Maker's Mart festival during Wall to Wall Art last year.
Seamus, Tim Schloss and Hudson.
It seems it's the season for our artisans and members to immerse themselves in their own creative development, with Margaret Zaal 'excited beyond belief' to be going to a four day workshop in Geelong; Merilyn at a lifedrawing camp in Queensland and Seamus having just returned from an Irish folk music week near Coroit. Seamus came away from the week having written a poem, a song and having been the narrator for a documentary oriented slide show on the Irish Rebellion which engaged other Irish musicians in the camp in song. There must have been some wonderful jamming sessions.
Merv posted this portrait by his friend CJHaumann on our timeline recently - prefaced by 'See what NEA is doing to me!"
Lots has been happening in Merv's life this week, a birthday, buying a house in Benalla, becoming engaged to Irina and taking an oil pastels workshop at NEA at the weekend.
Cornelia's posted a Facebook entry in a similar vein, prefacing it with something to the effect that it's lucky her studio is not at home...
To finish... - 'Caught' - a photo of the Friday morning to afternoon handover - with Annie Longmuir and Janet Leith caught arriving to replace Lise Darcy and Elaine Murphy recenlty.
Annie, Janet, Lise and Elaine.
First, a reminder that the Rite of Spring exhibition in the Events Gallery officially ends on November 30. People will be able to pick up art work they have purchased then, however remaining works will continue to hang until after late night shopping on Thursday 6th November. It has been wonderful having an exhibition of new work by NEA's artisans in this space. Visitors to Benalla who come to NEA seem to truly value the opportunity to visit what is becoming the NEA complex - with Gift Shop & Gallery; Foyer Gallery; the Events Room Gallery and seven artisan's studios upstairs.
It will soon be Christmas. NEA's Christmas party last weekend was a happy and relaxing event and artisans and volunteers are now gearing up for Benalla's pre-Christmas shopping experience on Thursday 1st December between 6pm and 8.30pm, NEA is an active participant in the event and will be remain until 8.30 pm. Buy tickets and some unique Christmas gifts at NEA before heading out to shop until you drop for two and a half hours!
Also on at 6 pm Thursday 1st December is the opening of 'A Month of Art Works by Merv Beamish' pop up arts show at Chocolate Lane.
Caught in action restocking at NEA for Christmas, artisan Sue Lamour of Sacred Stones.
While the workshop program is slowing down, the 'implementation stage' of the Door of Hope project is ramping up. The project's teachers have been appointed and the next stage of marketing the project is about to begin.
I love checking out gallery spaces! A few days ago I came across a new gift shop with exhibition space in the store next to The Whitty Cafe at Whitfield A past work colleague Anton co-owns and works at the cafe and gallery and is particularly keen to hang and sell paintings in addition to jewellery , wood work and ethical products.. The Whitty Cafe is in a 'niche' market, located near King Valley wineries and places where people come for weekend stays.
On a trip to Sydney a month ago I visited one of my favourite gallery spaces at Sturt Workshops in Mittagong. Worth a detour when travelling to Sydney!
Back to NEA - the other day Cornelia said it would be a good time to take a photo of her studio. Here goes!
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Regular updates on news of interest to NEA artisans, friends and community members and on key events in the NEA calendar. This blog complements NEA on Facebook - check this out too!
Bald Archy Exhibition
Benalla Street Art Wall to Wall Festival
Benalla Street Art Map
Benalla Youth Action Committee
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Table Top Games at NEA