The Annual Tumut Art Exhibition begins on Friday from 6pm, and 2017 is a special year for the Art Society: it’s the 60th anniversary of the first art show, back in 1957.
The exhibition will be held at the 5Ways Studio, 1 Tumut Plains Road, where it has been held for the past 17 years – a big change from the over two decades it was held in the RSL carpark.
Tumut Art Society President Glenyce Francis said there will past presidents of the art society attending the opening night, who will speak about the art show’s long and colourful history.
There will also be a TV presentation on the art society running throughout the night.
“This is a big year for us and we will be especially looking at our historical beginnings with special guests and presentations,” she said.
“Here’s hoping it goes for another 60 years!”
President of the Royal Art Society John Perkins will be attending the Exhibition and judging the over 250 entrants on Thursday.
The winner of the open section will take home $2000, with other cash prizes for Local Scene in the Snowy Valleys Council Area, Watercolour/Ink and Wash, Oils and Acrylics, Other Mediums, Fibre Art, Small Painting, and the Local Encouragement Award.
There is also the People’s Choice Award, with a $200 voucher for first prize and a $50 voucher for second and third prizes, for Sydney art supplies store Art Scene.
Ms Francis is proud of the Tumut Art Exhibition, but she said she fears for its future – many rural art shows have closed down in recent years, with a major problem being the fact that couriers refuse to deliver to out-of-the-way locales.
“We’ve had 20 artworks that just didn’t come in because of that,” she said.
“I know other art shows are having the same problem. The cost of couriering and posting is getting very expensive – and of course you don’t sell all the paintings and not everybody gets prizes. I have real worries about things getting more city-centric, and I would hate to see the art scene disappear in rural areas.”
However, thanks to a lot of local support and the artist-magnet that is the Snowy Valleys and the mountains, the Art Show can be safely betted on to last a while yet.
“The Art Exhibition’s success can also be attributed to the passion, tenacity, and commitment of the founders and members,” said Ms Francis.
“The success is also partly due to the sheer beauty of the Tumut and surrounding area, which inspires artists from all over Australia to make regular pilgrimages to the area where they immerse themselves in painting the local scenery. Many of these artworks end up in the Tumut Art Exhibition as well as exhibited nationally and internationally.”
Admission to the Art Exhibition is $5 for adults, $3 concession and free for children, with opening night this Friday costing $12 including drinks and canapés.