River of Art Festival – the art is flowing

River of Art, the annual festival which celebrates art in all its forms from Durras in the north to Bermagui in the south, is now just four weeks away.

Opening on Friday May 17, the festival will have over 120 different events up and down the coast including conversations with renowned Australian artists, a fabulous burlesque show, a Japanese drumming workshop and an exhibition of exquisite woodwork.

Wendy Sharpe, one of Australia’s most awarded and accomplished artists, will officially open the festival and the ‘River of Dreams’ exhibition at the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre (the BAS) in Moruya on Friday May 17.

That same evening and within walking distance from the BAS, Splinters, the woodworking group will open their exhibition at the Mechanics Institute while the Comrades in Art exhibition will be open at the Air Raid Tavern.

Running until May 27, the Festival will feature an Art Trail with 30 Open Studios where you can meet artists in their own spaces and see or purchase their work. A further 30 artists have partnered with local businesses to be part of Art on Parade, showcasing their work in shop-fronts.

A highlight of the festival will be the burlesque and cabaret show, Kinema Kabaret, on Saturday May 18. Performers from fringe festivals and circus events across the country will be twirling their best on the Art Deco-style Narooma Kinema stage. There will also be another 17 or so musical events throughout the Festival including the Busking Championships in Narooma which will bring the streets alive for the day on the second weekend of the festival.

Artists in Conversation is a new program addition this year. This gives festival goers an opportunity to hear artists talk about their work and indulge in local produce prepared artfully by some of our best local chefs.

Above: Wendy Sharpe, in her studio. Wendy is opening the festival at the BAS on May 17

Archibald prize winner, Wendy Sharpe (above), will be in Conversation at The River restaurant, Moruya on Sunday, 19 May. Graham Fransella, a four-time winner of the Wynne water colour prize will be in Conversation at the Sandbar, Batemans Bay, on Saturday, 25 May. Helen Maxwell and art professionals will be In Conversation at Lincoln Downs talking about making a life in the creative arts, which is not always easy. Tickets to each of the Conversations are already on sale.

There will also be 15 individual visual art exhibitions including Umbarra Indigenous Arts at Akolele, MACS in Narooma, CABBI in Batemans Bay, CIA in Moruya and more in Durras, Mogo, Tilba and Bodalla. SOART Gallery, Narooma, again hosts the prestigious River of Art Festival prize.

Above: The Stonewave Taiko drumming troupe will be performing this year

The full festival program is now available on the River of Art Festival website www.riverofART.com.au Hardcopy programs are also available in libraries, visitor centres and other locations.

River of Art is funded by the NSW Government through Destination NSW and the Eurobodalla Shire Council.

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