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MEDIA RELEASE - True blue art show attracts top artists

28 May 2019

Casterton’s picturesque landscapes, beautiful nature and quintessential Australian culture continue to attract the attention of Australia’s best artists.

It is these themes which will be showcased at the True Blue Art Show as part of the Australian Kelpie Muster this June long weekend.

More than 80 entries have been attracted for the popular event, hosted annually by the Rotary Club of Casterton which spends hundreds of hours transforming the Casterton Town Hall into a makeshift gallery for the iconic celebrations.

Rotarian Sheryl-Lee Connolly is among the faithful helping to recruit artists and coordinate the art pieces.

“The artists come from everywhere to be part of our show, you name it and they are here,” she said.

“It’s great because we have such a strong local artist base. There is the likes of Megan Lonsdale from Edenhope who is an amazing young artists and Jo Taylor, a former local who has moved away to Cheltenham to develop her talents but is back entering the show with countless other local names.”

Amongst the entrants is the Artists in the Valley group, who will also be running their own exhibition in their neighbouring Henty Street art space as part of the weekend festivities.

Ms Connolly said Casterton’s profile as an underground arts community was growing, with a number of new artists settling in the area.

“I think artists are attracted to Casterton because we have such beautiful landscapes; there is inspiration all around you. If you want to take it up (painting), there is always someone around willing to teach you. We are just that sort of community,” she said.

These local talents will be showcased alongside Italian born painter Katrina Lodge the show’s feature artist. Now based in Nareen, Ms Lodge is well-recognised across the Green Triangle for her abstract and colourful creations, which are currently on show at the Portland Arts Centre.

Furthermore, Natimuk visual artist and filmmaker Hannah French, whose sister Sally is a teacher at the Casterton Secondary College, is the event’s main judge. Hannah has been instrumental in the Wimmera community, working with school children to realise a number of community art projects.

Ms Connolly said the 2019 show had focused on embracing local talent, inspiring the next generation of artists.

“This year we are showcasing the best local artists from our local schools with their own junior section. We look forward to seeing Hannah’s reaction as part of the judging process. I think she will be looking for something individual, which has strong technique and we can’t wait for the result,” she mused.

More than $4000 worth of prize money is up for grabs across five categories including the Kelpie Prize, Landscape, Buildings, Machinery, Animals (Australian native or farm), People, and Junior section.

The True Blue Art Show opens on Thursday 6 June at the Casterton Town Hall at 6.30pm. Tickets are available for pre-purchase from Gorman Real Estate or the Co-op Shop for $15, or alternatively at the door for $20.

To learn more visit the True Blue Art Show Facebook page.

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