ARTY TYPES: Kim Connors and Bronwyn Gell enjoy the Friends of the Grafton Regional Gallery annual fundraiser Art in The Paddock. ABOVE LEFT: Intuitive mixed media artist Rhondella Hyde. BELOW RIGHT: Jim and Robyn Eckersley.
ARTY TYPES: Kim Connors and Bronwyn Gell enjoy the Friends of the Grafton Regional Gallery annual fundraiser Art in The Paddock. ABOVE LEFT: Intuitive mixed media artist Rhondella Hyde. BELOW RIGHT: Jim and Robyn Eckersley. Debrah Novak

Art in the Paddock doubles its numbers

GRAFTON Regional Gallery fundraiser Art in the Paddock has doubled its numbers from last year, almost certainly delivering a windfall to organisers.

Hosted for the first time at the Fiony Leviny and Michael Rowe's Turtle Creek property at Alumny Creek more than 360 people went through the gate yesterday.

Gallery director Jude McBean said this was double the number for last year and taking into account the previous night's Dinner in the Paddock, with 140 guests, the Gallery Foundation was looking at a good profit.

"Having the dinner extra has meant a bit more complexity for us, but overall it's been worth it," she said.

"It's been a great event for the artists," Ms McBean said.

"They were able to get here, set up, and have a chat about what they're doing."

Grafton artist Julie Hutchings agreed with that assessment.

"I haven't sold any paintings, but I've made so many contacts from it.

"I run life drawing classes in Grafton on a Friday and I've had so much interest in that, that's made it worthwhile by itself."

Copmanhurst photographer Margaretta Travers said she has done a roaring trade.

"I've sold two framed pictures and some mounted photos as well as some cards," she said.

"One of the photographs was bought by Fiona Leviny, so I know it's gone to a really good home and I'm just stoked she liked it so much."

Ms Travers said she had been coming to Art in the Paddock since it started five years ago and this was the outstanding event.

"It's a wonderful concept and having it here at Fiona's place has been really good," she said.

Yamba based provedore and chef Peter Nicholson said the decision to hold the Dinner in the Paddock was a master stroke.

Mr Nicholson joined local chefs Nathan and Krystel Earp, Antony Perring and Mary Drum to provide the banquet featuring local food.

Property owner Ms Leviny had the last word.

"As the event is winding up, everyone has picked up all their rubbish. It says it all really.



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