Winner of the mobile phone section in the In Focus photography competition was Rebekka Raven's portrait of her son titled Jack Hits the Beach.
Winner of the mobile phone section in the In Focus photography competition was Rebekka Raven's portrait of her son titled Jack Hits the Beach.

Faces Of Community theme attracts wonderful portraits

THE four winners of the annual IN FOCUS photography exhibition organised by the Clarence Valley Council are on display in the gallery's courtyard. The competition aims to develop awareness of culture in the valley. Each year entries are invited that reflect a theme.

This year the theme was Faces of Community. One photograph was selected from each of the three sections, mobile phone, compact camera and digital SLR. The fourth image was selected as the plunge winner. It is featured as the face of plunge and is on the front cover of the plunge booklet, on the plunge posters and advertising such as on the valley's buses.

Jules Middlebrook won the digital SLR section with his portrait of Dion, titled Dreaming in the Clarence. Stephen Otton took out the compact camera section with a lively image of young boys playing tug-a-war as part of the Lion's Brooms Head Fun Day. Rebekka Raven captured a beautiful moment in her portrait of her son Jack, called Jack Hits the Beach.

Hailey Voorand's portrait of Grace Hickey on the beach titled Oceans Energy won the plunge prize. Grace Hickey is an artist and singer in the Clarence Valley. Each winner won $500 from the Clarence Valley Council. The winning photos feature on large banners on display in the gallery's courtyard.


The first of four exhibitions to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Lower Clarence Arts and Crafts Association is on display at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

The Lower Clarence Arts and Crafts Association began as an art club in 1966 with the growing interest in the community for participating in art and crafts. In 1986 the group was incorporated, allowing it to provide umbrella protection for its membership, which is made up of many interest groups such as weaving, quilting, glass, pottery, painting and drawing.

In 1993 the LCACA opened its arts and crafts centre at the Ferry Park Visitors Complex where they have operated successfully since. Exhibition, workshop and meeting spaces make it the centre for this active group.

Each year the members present their annual exhibition. This year it has an open section for all artists with a first prize of $1000 and a members only section with a first prize of $500. There are prizes for all the sections such as quilting, photography, sculpture and needlework. The exhibition has been held in various venues including the Maclean High School and Gulmarrad Public School.

This year it is being presented at the Maclean Showground where the association has been busy gaining funds to refurbish one of the pavilions. The exhibition, named the Clarence River Arts Festival, opens at Thursday, July 7, 6pm and continues for the next three days.


The second exhibition of the jubilee series opens on May 11 at the gallery. Members of the LCACA have been invited by curator and member Malcolm King to create a work in response to the landscape of the Lower Clarence.

The painters, drawers, spinners, weavers, quilt makers, jewellers, woodworkers and potters are entering this exhibition which will showcase the association and its members. Entries are due for delivery by April 30 at Ferry Park Gallery. Contact Malcolm King for more information.

The In Focus Exhibition on display in the Grafton Regional Gallery's courtyard.
The In Focus Exhibition on display in the Grafton Regional Gallery's courtyard. Simon Hughes


At 6pm this Friday (April 8) an art exhibition and fashion parade opens at the Wooli Street Hall in Yamba. The opening night features performances by local dancers and a fashion parade from Mindall & Bungall designer, Leanne Earnens-Kennedy.

Leanne's beautiful designs fuse the elements of nature in colours and textures by using luxurious fabrics that are dyed and printed.

Artists on display include Kahlua Charlton, Carmel Charlton, Frances Belle Parker, Elsie Randall, Minnie Randall, Charlene Williams, Vickki King, Rosemary Vesper and Joseph Walker. The exhibition continues throughout the weekend from 10am to 4pm.


The Old Kirk at the Yamba Museum has an exhibition of work created in collaboration with photographer John Ibbotson and Yamba's Light Up the Darkness Mental Health Advocacy Group. John Ibbotson is recognised nationally for his photographs and writing of lighthouses.

The exhibition continues to May 8 and presents a selection of John's lighthouse photographs. They are inspiring photographs as lighthouses make many people safer physically and mentally.


Entries are open for the annual exhibition Go Art, which is being held at the Grafton High School multi-purpose centre from June 11 to 13. Entry details and forms are available on the internet . The best work in the show will take out a $1000 prize. All visual arts including photographs are eligible to enter.


The call for entries into the gallery's major event, the 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, has gone out. All artists who reside in Australia are invited to enter. The first prize is $30,000 and there will be acquisitions up to $10,000 made.

The Friends of the Gallery help sponsor the first prize and Art Spectrum provides $500 worth of beautiful drawing materials. Entry forms are on the gallery website.


This week our outreach program Drawing In Schools will visit Gulmarrad, Maclean, Westlawn and Nymboida public schools. Artist Kerrie Howland is presenting a series of workshops in each school.

The program, which starts visiting high schools next term, finishes with an exhibition at the gallery at the same time as the 2016 JADA.

Drawing In Schools is part of the 2016 JADA.

The Grafton Regional Gallery is a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council and is located at 158 Fitzroy St. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. Entry is by gold coin donation. The gallery's restaurant Rosearia is open 11am to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday.

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