A new workshop with Mervyn Beamish on Sunday 15th January, 2.30 pm. Bookings essential.
Festival time at North East Artisans is here - with the Rite of Spring exhibition and the East End Street Party happening later today. There will be lots of activity in the events room, now a dual purpose second gallery space, with the opening of the Rite of Spring exhibition at NEA at 5 pm on Friday and the East End Street Party on outside. More news to come! Click on the poster image for a slide show of the Rite of Spring's poster collection.
Art shows are on in abundance, with the 2016 Benalla Festival Regional Art Show at Tatong organised by NEA member De Sales Turner and supported well by NEA artisans. This year Tim Bowtell won the acquisitional 'Best in Show' prize with his painting 'Chinese New Era' and Julie Guppy. 'Best Local Artist' with her painting.'Tall Trees'. Judges were Tony Flint and Shanlee Cleeland.. Speaking to de Sales, it seems Tim's painting will hang at different times in community locations. The Art Show at Tatong is open until Sunday 6th November.
Merv Beamish recently donated a painting as a fundraiser for the Benalla Shorts Film Festival. Merv's painting was won by Laurie Watters, pictured here with Tim Bowtell at the Cup Eve Picnic Party when her horse in the phantom cup call won the race. (I bought lots of tickets - hoping I'd take Merv's painiting home with me!)
While workshops have quietened down a little, the last week has seen a healthy lift in sales at NEA's Gift Shop and Gallery, including larger sales by artists who have been supporting NEA by exhibiting and taking studios. Good things can come to those who wait! At least one of our artisans in wood has received a commission which was also exciting to hear. We have very much enjoyed having Colin Robson's sculptures and bird nesting boxes in the gallery over the past year - Colin is taking a break for a while, but we are hopeful he will return soon.
It's interesting following up on activities of past and present NEA artisans. Karthika and Beth have taken their passions a step further recently - opening shops in picturesque Nunn Street - Karthika 'Good Vibes Store - Organic and Eco Products' and Beth 'Beth's doll house- toys for girls and boys'.
Many artisans are on facebook - with a link to their Facebook page through the Artisans Index. This came through Margaret Zaal's this week. Isn't it beautiful!
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members who may, from time to time, have a strong urge to write about NEA for this column!.
Merv has posted this YouTube video for people interested in finding out more about his work and workshops.
Merv's Workshop, Make your own oil pastels and learn how to use them will be held at NEA,at a date to be advised - keep an eye on the workshops page.
The term "Artists' Residency" is a cacophony of meanings and interpretations. Like the word 'environment' it can be used in many ways. I've just attended a residency with fellow NEA artist Irina Korotkow which included a month or so free accommodation, an exhibition area and a studio space in return for running a couple of workshops, manning a gallery (same location as studio space). Sometimes the term 'residency' is used as an alternative for workshop, often with travel, a cruise and particular artist teacher.
This artists' residency was a gathering of international artists to work together, exchange ideas and techniques, and visit some of the worlds greatest artworks. The residency was by invitation and limited to a small number of artists, sculptors and a musician from Europe, USA, Africa and we represented Australia.
The residency, partially funded by the EU and other sponsors, was curated by artist and curator Basha Maryanska and held at the Goluchow castle estate in Poland (side note, one of the castles featured in the Harry Potter films, which has given me great status with the grandkids). We stayed in the castle grounds, hotel Mulzeany, not 5 minutes walk. There was a large purpose built studio space and ample grounds to wander and work in. One hit was The Hunting Lodge which serve the most wonderful and intoxicating ice cream, and of course Polish beer.
What did it cost us? I know some of you want to know. All art materials (Canvases, basic paints, brushes etc.) were supplied also three nice meals a day. The hotel room was humungus and furnished in the period style of the castle with the portrait of the original owner (a shady character) pompously, and some what disapprovingly peering down at the bed, but stuff him artists are artists! The accommodation as a whole package was heavily discounted, primarily covered by sponsorship and came to around $700 for the fortnight, that included transport during the residency. Air tickets were our own responsibility, however, I managed to get a good deal through STA which turned out quite a lot less than expected
At the end of the residency there was an exhibition in the castle which then lead onto a travelling exhibition to move around Poland. While one could arrange the return of works after this exhibition. I left mine in Poland to be sold or otherwise disposed of. I did sell a larger canvas while staying at the Hotel, so now am represented in a private collection in Poland.
All in all, a wonderful and educational trip. I've been invited again next year, not sure where at this stage, the possibilities include USA, France, Italy or Qatar.
Both Irina and I have been asked to organise a similar residency in Benalla in 2018 or 2019 and several international artists are eager to come and paint with Australian artists, also a top Belgian sculptor Luc de Man and New York ceramicist Elizabeth Frischauf. We're a bit of a mystery to them.
**Thanks, Merv for responding to our invitation to write an 'Occasional Blog' about your experiences in Poland.
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members who may, from time to time, have a strong urge to write for this column (or can be cajoled into doing so)!
It's still very wintery, though Spring isn't far away and the camellias and daffodils have begun to brighten up our gardens.
NEA artisans who headed north during winter are gradually reappearing on roster duty.. Artisans who headed furthest north and are still travelling in Europe are Merv Beamish and Irena Korotkow. Merv's Facebook page includes a post about the exhibition which culminated the Artists' Residency he and Irena have just completed in in Poland.
A new workshop series commenced at NEA in August, with Annie Longmuir offering Knitting and Crochet workshops on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7.30 pm, school holiday weeks excluded. Participants bring individual projects, receiving help from Annie and support from other participants.
Cornelia Selover is currently in the midst of presenting Life Drawing Workshops at the Benalla Art Gallery, with Margaret Zaal's botanical drawing workshops starting late in September. Tim Bowtell describes enjoying his oil painting classes and is offering another one on August 28th.
'Buttons to Go's Carole Grenfell visited NEA from Shepparton recently to replenish stocks.
It was interesting chatting to Carole about 'The Mill' at Castlemaine, an artisans' precinct which sounds well worth visiting. Carole explained that she exhibits with them both onsite and online.
Two reminders - the first for artisans who do not yet have a web page on this site and would like to do so, please contact Tim Bowtell. The second - if you are interested in becoming involved with a soon to be established Friends of NEA', please contact Bev Lee firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a final note, the 23rd Bald Archy's Exhibition has just opened in Swanpool. Might see you there!
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members who may, from time to time, have a strong urge to write about NEA (or are cajoled into doing so by the Web team)!.
Wall to Wall Benalla Festival
Benalla Street Art Map to 2017
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Table Top Games at NEA