CREATIVE RESPONSE: Curt Reynolds' Waiting Grafton Bridge 2015. A new project is encouraging artists to record the Clarence's four new bridges set for construction.
CREATIVE RESPONSE: Curt Reynolds' Waiting Grafton Bridge 2015. A new project is encouraging artists to record the Clarence's four new bridges set for construction.

ARTEFACTS: Exploring the art of Clarence Valley infrastructure

ARTISTS interested in submitting an expression of interest or hearing more about the Grafton Regional Gallery's recently launched Bridges Project are invited to attend the Bridges Project Artist Information Session at the gallery at 10am on Wednesday, August 24.

At this information session I will outline the Bridges Project in detail and what is on offer to artists. Roads and Maritime Services project managers from Grafton, Harwood, Sportsmans Creek and Tabulam bridges will also present the details of the four Clarence Valley bridges set for construction in the upcoming years, so artists can plan potential artistic responses to this.

The Bridges Project is an opportunity for selected artists to document the construction and progress of the four bridges in artworks and creative responses. These works will culminate in a series of exhibitions at the Grafton Regional Gallery, the Old Kirk at Yamba Museum and the Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre.

Artists who work in all ranges of media are invited to apply and artists selected for the project will be paid a fee for their involvement.

Still-life talk

In conjunction with the exhibition Still Life: Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery Collection, former Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery director Leigh Summers is presenting a talk Genesis of the Collection at the Grafton Regional Gallery at 11am on Friday.

Still-life painting, acquisitive art prizes and the genesis of the Coffs Harbour still-life collection will be just some of the topics that Leigh will discuss in this talk. She will also speak about the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery's Eutick Memorial Still Life Award.

The EMSLA, as the award is colloquially known, is the means through which the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery has collected such a significant array of still-life painting. It will celebrate its 10th year in November.

The talk is a great opportunity to discuss the still-life genre and the significance of the paintings on display. Those wishing to attend this talk are encouraged to RSVP to the gallery.

New JADA judge

Ken Done AM is the judge for the 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award. He is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists. He has held more than 50 solo exhibitions in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA and has been a finalist in the Archibald, Wynne, Blake and Dobell prizes, including this year's Wynne.

His portrait by Marc Etherington is in the 2016 Archibald.

His work is held in many public and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery.

In 1992 Ken received the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to art, design and tourism, and in 2013 he was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame.

Ken will arrive in Grafton in time for the judging of the 2016 JADA, being the guest speaker at the inaugural JADA preview, and will announce the $30,000 winner and $10,000 of acquisitions at the 2016 JADA official opening at 6pm on Friday, October 28.

The artist has been part of the Grafton Regional Gallery since it was established in 1988 as an exhibiting artist and the gallery's patron.

He kindly accepted the gallery's invitation to judge after Art Gallery of NSW deputy director Suhanya Raffe, was unable to judge after gaining the position of M+ executive director in Hong Kong.

Take art to Sydney

Firstdraft is calling for proposals from regional artists for its February-July 2017 program. Firstdraft is an artist-run initiative that supports the development of emerging and experimental artistic, curatorial and writing practices. The proposal aims to help emerging artists located in regional NSW to access a national conversation and present their work away from home by supporting costs related to travel, transport and accommodation.

With this callout Firstdraft is launching the National Travel Bursary designed to help emerging and experimental artists present work outside of the their communities by providing funding to cover costs related to travel, transport and accommodation. The callout closes on September 11.

Open ceramic studio

Well-known Australian ceramic artist Geoff Crispin is opening his ceramic studio on the weekend as part of the Australian Ceramic Association's Open Studio Weekend. More than 148 studios are opening across Australia.

On display at his Whiteman Creek pottery will be the wood-fired stoneware and porcelain ceramics made from many locally occurring raw materials. Geoff processes local materials to make clay bodies and glazes and fires them in his two-chambered wood-fired bourry firebox kiln.

People will be able to meet the potter and discuss the many steps involved in producing his work, which continues century-old traditions.

Whiteman Creek Pottery is about 23km north-west of Grafton on the way to Copmanhurst.

Halls in focus

If These Halls Could Talk is a multi-arts project celebrating our halls and the role they play in our communities.

Seven halls from across the Northern Rivers were selected from hundreds of nominations to have a renowned artist or artistic team collaborate with their community.

For the next four months everyone is invited to take a tour of these halls to experience them now and go back into their past to witness the events and meet the people that have made them what they are today. Your guides are some of the country's most exciting contemporary artists and performers who have created temporary site-specific works inspired by the unique narrative of each hall.

The Eatonsville Hall is being transformed by local Yaegl woman and visual artist Frances Belle Parker through a large-scale, immersive installation creating a space to reflect on past histories. Guests are invited to dress in white to be part of the work at this free event being held at 5.30pm on Saturday, October 22.

To acquaint guests with the hall and its landscape overlooking the Clarence River the afternoon will begin with champagne and canapes on the lawn of the hall. Soft light will draw the audience into the hall to experience the work. Flowing fabric hangs from the rafters, imprinted with imagery and imbued with sound; mapping the land, the hall and the people.

Details of the activities of the other six halls are available on the Arts Northern Rivers website.

The Grafton Regional Gallery is a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council. The gallery is located at 158 Fitzroy St, Grafton, and is open from 10am-4pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Entry is by gold-coin donation.

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