THE second annual Life Aquatic exhibition opened with a splash last Sunday at Foster’s Stockyard Gallery.
The inaugural Life Aquatic exhibition last year was such a success it was held again this year, when it proved even more popular. There were lots of entries and as many as 200 people at the opening, which included a BBQ/fish fry, local wines and live music by local group ‘The Tilders.’
Artists chose a variety of ways to meet the criteria of the competition and respond to the marine and coastal environment.
There was a great response to the exhibition and to the sculptures by Sharon Monk which complemented the exhibition and will be on display until Life Aquatic finishes on February 22.
In the end the judges, Susan Storm, Sian Adnam and Andrea McCallum, awarded the grand prize, which included $500 cash, to Janette Arnold-Collins for her brilliantly colourful set of two canvases titled ‘Mermaid’s Garden.’ Other prizes were awarded to the following:
Highly Commended – Canvas no 109, ‘Beach is Life’ by Tessy Amesreiter (Prize of a Grand Ridge Brewery beer selection and gift voucher value $40 from Dalliance Chocolate Shop, Mirboo North);
First Prize 2D – Canvas no 220, ‘At Sea’ by Alvina Bishop-Edwards (Prize of $150 cash and gift voucher value $100 from Morwell Art & Framing);
First Prize 3D – Canvas no 62, ‘Snorkel and Goggles’ by Ross West (Prize of $150 cash and gift voucher value $100 from Morwell Art and Framing);
Judge’s Prize (Susan Storm) – Canvas no 45, ‘Out of the Water, NOW!’ by Elisabeth Williams (Prize of a combined voucher value $100 from Foster Golf Club and OK PizzaPasta);
Judge’s Prize (Andrea McCallum) – Canvas no 81, ‘Where I’ve Been, What I’ve Seen’ by Chris Beehag (Prize of dinner for two, value $100 at Foster’s Exchange Hotel);
Judge’s Prize (Sian Adnam) – Canvas Set no 205 and 206 ‘Mermaid’s Garden’ by Janette Arnold-Collins (Prize: dinner for two value $100 at wildfish Restaurant, Port Albert);
Minnows Prize for child of primary school age – Canvas no 38, ‘Under Waratah Bay’ by Haley Wight (Prize: art pack from Artzillery Leongatha);
Hanger’s Choice Prize: Canvas no 256, ‘Don’t Let Nooramunga Become a Myth’ by Kate Remfrey (Prize: gift voucher value $50 from Morwell Art and Framing).
Opening the exhibition, South Gippsland Shire’s community strengthening coordinator, Ned Dennis, remarked on what a terrific community event it was. He said Life Aquatic had had great community support – from the artists who entered their work, from the many generous sponsors and from the general community who came along to enjoy all the art. Mr Dennis stressed how important the arts are to the health of a community.
Renae Carmody from Artzillery spoke, too. She agreed with Mr Dennis as to the importance of the arts. Ms Carmody, who sponsored the Minnows Prize for primary school aged children, has a space for art centred activities at her Leongatha shop. There she runs classes for people of all ages. She believes in the importance of people, especially children, exploring their creativity by trying their hand at art.
“It’s a good way to sort things out in your mind,” she enthused.
Life Aquatic is evidence of the rich tapestry of creativity in the community. There are a few photos on this page. For more photos go to the website www.stockyardgallery.org.au – or see the exhibition for yourself! This stunning exhibition will be on at Stockyard Gallery until February 22. All of the canvases, as well as Sharon Monk’s impressive sculptures, are for sale. Be a judge yourself – enter the People’s Choice award to be in the running for a Wilderness Retreat holiday at the Prom. The gallery is open every day from 10am to 4pm.