This year was the second year for two new annual festivals in Benalla, 'Benalla Rugged Up' in August, and 'the Window to Window' Christmas Festival in December. Like the Wall to Wall Festival in April, Benalla Rugged Up and Window to Window encourage the community to 'See the art in everything', which is the vision of Benalla Rural City's tourism strategy.
While 'Benalla Rugged Up' caused a flutter on social media, a veritable storm of activity developed surrounding the art work of NEA founder and president Tim Bowtell on Benalla Rural City's Mair Street window during'Window to Window' .. Picked up early by Sky News, also appearing in the Daily Mail in the UK, it was pleasing to see reports over the following days on regional television stations becoming better informed and balanced,
Discussions have continued, with most of the Letters to the Editor (three pages) in this week's Benalla Ensign about Tim's painting -- nearly all of which were positive!
Tim's compelling portrait of Greta Thunberg, draws from and is representative of Tim's current work. Tim describes being surprised that around 90% of people who spoke to him while he was painting weren't aware of Greta Thunberg, and is pleased that his work has acted as such a catalyst for conversations about climate change.
The announcement by Time Magazine of Greta as their Person of the Year a few days into the controversy on social media proved a wonderful endorsement of Tim's choice of a portrait of Greta for his window.
Here are two of the later reports from mainstream media, the first featuring an interview with Tim at NEA.
The second item from 9 News Border North East includes responses by Renewable Energy Benalla's John Lloyd and Benalla Sustainable Future Group's President Peter Holmes
An occasional BLog
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Broken River Writers
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Art Gallery on Ovens
Bush Gatherings -Violet Town
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)