River of Art festival wraps up on a high note

River of Art ended on high note, with lots of locals and visitors out and about on the festival’s second big weekend.

Festival Chair Robin Scott-Charlton says, “Wonderful warm weather, coupled with a long weekend in Canberra, brought plenty of people down the South Coast to soak up sunshine, live music and arts.

“Looking back on our jam-packed 2018 program, it’s hard to pick highlights from the more than 100 events on offer. Every event was special, but some definitely stand out for me.

“The festival launch and Art Prize Award ceremony in Narooma – opened by Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes – set the scene by showcasing many of the region's finest artists.

“We also put our thriving arts community on the map through varied exhibitions convened by local mosaics, textiles, woodwork, arts and photographic groups, along with 25 open studios.

“Plus we convened a new collaborative Land of Many Waters exhibition, which went on show at our three festival hubs located at the Eurobodalla Botanic Garden in Batemans Bay, the Air Raid Tavern in Moruya, and Club Narooma.

“These hubs proved to be popular meeting places, thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers.

“In 2018, River of Art was delighted to have a fabulous exhibition of aboriginal art and artefacts at the Umbarra Cultural Centre at Akolele back on our program, through the efforts of Alison Walker and the Wallaga Women.

“True to form, the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Artists Group surpassed all expectations with an incredible catwalk parade of designs and fabrics celebrating Folklore and Fantasy.

Photo: Ben Marden

“Then on our second festival weekend, the Busking Championships organised by Rotary saw Narooma come alive, with 56 entrants taking to the streets ahead of an exciting concert and award presentation."

Robin Scott-Charlton says, “I want to thank our funding partners, especially Destination NSW and the Eurobodalla Shire Council, for their vital backing. Many local businesses also provide invaluable sponsorship, support and services.

“River of Art is at heart all about our arts community, so we applaud all the passionate artists and performers who brought together more than 100 events on our 2018 Festival program.

“Finally, as Festival Chair I pay tribute to the talented volunteers on the River of Art Committee who gave so much of their time and energy over many months to organise and promote an outstanding festival in 2018."

While the festival has finished, there’s still time to see the River of Art 2018 Art Prize exhibition in Narooma. Finalists’ works are on show at the SoART Gallery. Other artworks submitted are on display in a Salon de Refusés at the Narooma School of Arts’ Studios. Both exhibitions are open daily until 2 June.

Check riverofart.com.au for times and directions.

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