Bree Hiatt casts her eye over some of the jewellery to be featured in her upcoming exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery
Bree Hiatt casts her eye over some of the jewellery to be featured in her upcoming exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery "History of Jewellery in the Clarence" Adam Hourigan

Clarence treasures uncovered at Regional Gallery

THE jewellery boxes and safes of the Clarence Valley have been opened in order to display a fabulous array of treasures at the Grafton Regional Gallery. There are 353 items on display, most with a story of how old they are, what they are made of and how the owner came to possess them. Some objects are photographs of people wearing the jewellery on display.

Some works are from overseas brought out as early as 1841 or sent by soldiers in the world wars to family members or sweethearts. Christening brooches, Valentine Day gifts, name brooches, lockets with hair inside, fob watches, wedding jewellery, cufflinks, baby rattles and jewellery boxes present a fascinating display.

Roy Atree's collection of 175 pairs of cufflinks including one of Liberace's reveal the story of Roy and his wife's world travels. The 1973 Opera House cuff links, purchased by Roy at the Opera House opening started Roy's passion for collecting these small but fascinating objects.

The diversity of jewellery tells of the various eras in history, the fashions and trends and the technological developments in materials and techniques. Pearls, jet, amber, silver, lapis lazuli, enamel, sapphires, diamonds, garnets, amethyst and crystals are just some of the materials used in the display.

Curator Bree Hiatt borrowed the jewellery from private and public collections including that held by the valley's museums. The museum pieces came from the Clarence River Historical Society, Glenreagh Memorial Museum, Lawrence Museum, Maclean District Memorial Museum and Port of Yamba Historical Society. The general public has also been very generous in lending their precious items.

History of Jewellery in the Valley along with the other four exhibitions will be on display at the Grafton Regional Gallery until March 13.

Amazing Grace

Nine local artists have presented an exhibition called Amazing Grace in our community gallery. The group who call themselves Creative Christians of the Clarence Valley aim to use and develop their various creative skills in a meaningful way and to show the message of God's love around us. They meet fortnightly to learn new skills and enjoy each other's company.

The artists who range in ages from 12 to 86 years old are Joyce Cowan, Beth Willis, Grace Whitby, Dee van Niekerk, Terrél Coleman, Maree Powers, John Powers, Jan Homer and Roslyn Hatfield.

Joyce Cowan and Beth Willis wrote poems for the exhibition while Tina Cinzio has presented a delightful series of drawings. Tina's detailed linear works created using an acrylic pen embrace the subject matter as well as presenting a decorative and contemplative surface. Hebel sculptures by Maree Powers and drawings by Rosyln Hatfields are just some of the other works on display.

Show and Tell

Arts Northern Rivers and Eatonsville Hall are calling for anyone who has stories, photos, memorabilia or a connection to the hall to come along to Show + Tell a fun community day at the hall on Sunday, February 27.

There will be a barbecue and live entertainment by local jazz and folk musicians organised by the hall committee in the surrounding park.

Show + Tell is the first phase Arts Northern Rivers' If These Halls Could Talk project; a multi-arts project celebrating halls and the role they play in our communities.

Eatonsville Hall was selected for the 'If These Halls Could Talk' project. Artist Frances Belle Parker the visual artist commissioned to work with the Eatonsville community will be at the Show and Tell. She will be working within the community to create a work inspired by the stories and people of Eatonsville Hall and its surrounds.

Arts Northern Rivers has partnered with ABC North Coast and photographer Jules Ober to create three recording booths at Show + Tell - Stories of the Hall, Faces of the Hall and Memorabilia of the Hall.

The material gathered at the Show + Tell event will be accessed by Ms Parker during the If These Halls Could Talk creative development period to provide inspiration for the process of developing a new work at Eatonsville Hall.

If These Halls Could Talk project is funded by Arts NSW Regional Partnership funding and Regional Arts NSW Regional Arts Fund

Museum Advisor Program

Our Museum Advisor, Libby Newell, returns to the valley next week after a summer break. Libby will be visiting the Alumy Creek Public School Museum and the Iluka History Group on Monday, Yamba Museum, Lawrence Museum and Schaeffer House on Tuesday, and Copmanhurst Saddlery Museum and Glenreagh Memorial Museum on Wednesday.

This year Libby will be aiming to do an audit of museums in the Clarence Valley, document the museum needs, prepare a museum development plan and support each museum to work on or update their strategic plan.

As the advisor Libby supports the volunteer run museums of the valley with advice and guidance, develops the networking between the museums and their relationship with the valley's libraries and presents skills training seminars and workshops for all museums in the valley. The service program which has been operating for three years is made possible with the support of the Clarence Valley Council in partnership with Museums and Galleries NSW.

What's next for Wendy Sharpe?

After an exciting opening to our six new exhibitions including one at the Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre, artist Wendy Sharpe is preparing for the opening of her next exhibition at the Phillip Bacon Gallery on March 1. Titled 'Beautiful Monsters (Burlesque and backstage) the exhibition follows on from her residency with Circus Oz. Wendy is also presenting a talk at the Art Shed in Brisbane on Saturday, March 5 called "Art, Drawing, Painting, Creativity, Materials & more..." .

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