The Friends of the Gallery’s annual soup day is always a hit during the Winter Solstice.
The Friends of the Gallery’s annual soup day is always a hit during the Winter Solstice.

Enjoy souper-duper day out

Warm up with some of the best made soups in the Clarence Valley at the Winter Solstice Soup Day. A great line-up of the Clarence Valley's best known chefs will be presenting a delicious selection of nine soups at the Friends of the Gallery Soup Day. This culinary delight starts at 12noon on the Winter Solstice on Sunday, June 21 at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

The Grafton chefs are Erin Brown of Vines at 139, Nerada Cotton of Tree Tops, Leanne Brien of Roches Family Hotel, Rachael and Shelley of Heart & Soul Wholefood Café and Luke Bloomer of Victoria's. South Grafton chefs are Peter Freeman of Alchemy and Murray Challacombe of Challacombe's Farm from South Grafton. The Lower Clarence is represented by Antony Perring of Irons & Craig, Yamba.

This very popular annual Soup Day is presented by the Friends as a fundraiser for the 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award. Hot soups and home made breads start the celebrations. Tea, coffee and cakes finish the feasting off. A pay bar is operated by the Friends.

Tickets are on sale now for $30 or if you are a member of the Friends $25. Contact the gallery to book in on 6642 3177 for the limited number of tickets. This is great way to celebrate the end of days getting shorter and the start of more daylight each day.

Last weeks

Currently on exhibition at the gallery are five great exhibitions that cater for the art enthusiasts and for those of us who want to be taken through a journey of discovery.

Stars + Stripes, American Art of the 21st Century from the Goldberg Collection is an exhibition of the latest cutting edge works created by inspiring American artists. Works drawn from the private collection of Sydney based Lisa and Danny Goldberg, is a vibrant selection of art by some of America's hottest contemporary names.

Be mesmerised by the large target painting created by Ned Vena or left feeling a little shocked after looking at Bad Dog (blue) by Richard Jackson. Dylan Lynch's Sucked in Juice Box will make you wonder how did he make the 3D sculpture and try to see if the work by Cory Arcangel, Timeless Standards is a photograph or actually real fabric. These few works alone offer the viewer curious thought and entertainment.

Exhibitions like Stars + Stripes are rarely seen in regional areas. This is an opportunity to explore contemporary work up close and personal and presents work by the major American artists of the last 15 years.

The thoughtful considered work created by regional artists Michelle Dawson, Danielle Bradley, Mick Parr and Steven Giese highlighting the ongoing ecological crises of Australian animals is a great exhibition for children to see. The artists celebrate the beauty and diversity of some of the Australian animals we are familiar with. Their response to the environment issues through figurative representation of Australian animals is thought provoking.

Charmaine Davis and Kim Healey, who have exhibited together in many group shows through a strong connection at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney have returned to their where they grew up to present Nguraalama - We Come Home.

The artists' childhood memories of camping, playing, collecting bush tucker and spending time with family is presented in figurative work that reveals the important role their connection to country and spirit of place plays in their arts practice.

Links to Learning, an education program for youth at risk in the Clarence Valley has run for more 20 years. It offered a safe place for young people to come and learn new skills, gain confidence and be exposed to role models and services. The gallery's community exhibition space presents a collection of pictorial collages of the program's history and includes the award winning depiction of the two sides of the Clarence River. The painting by a small group of enterprising young people won the 2008 National Parks and Wildlife Service Collaborative Award.

Clarence Valley Culture

A dedicated group of culture lovers meets every two months or so to promote and support the cultural activities in the Clarence Valley. The Clarence Valley Cultural Committee is meeting at the Brushgrove Hall, a convenient central point of the valley at 4.30pm next Monday, June 15.

The committee has always been very involved with supporting the Plunge festival over its three year history. Through its network and social media it promotes the local arts including music and theatre. Like us on Facebook. If you love getting into promotion and marketing the arts you may even consider coming on the committee. Contact the gallery for details.

Frosty festival

Frost over Barraba is a vibrant and growing Arts Festival. Last year more than 700 artworks were exhibited and more than $20,000 worth of art was sold. This lively community art event held in the northern inland town of Barraba has run for more than 40 years. Frost runs from opening night on the evening of June 25 through to Sunday 28 June. Entries details are on the Frost's website.

Mosman Art Prize

Now in its 68th year, the Mosman Art Prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious municipally funded visual art prizes in Australia. It is an annual, acquisitive award for painting sponsored by the Mosman Municipal Council.

The 2015 Mosman Art Prize will be judged by Michael Rolfe, Chief Executive Officer, Museums & Galleries New South Wales and it opens on July 28, 2015. Entry details for the prizes worth more than $40,000 are available on the Mosman Art Gallery website.

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