ARTS in the Wheatbelt continue to flourish with the support of an annual competition attracting record entries.
Central Wheatbelt MLA Mia Davies said the 2017 Wheatbelt Art Prize exceeded expectation and continued to grow as a permanent fixture in the region’s arts and culture scene.
The November event at Cummins Theatre offered a combined prize of $9000, attracting 160 entries across nine categories, including two photography classes for the first time.
Ms Davies said the competition drew a high calibre of entries and received ongoing support from sponsors and the community.
“Judges, sponsors and event co-ordinators were blown away by the local enthusiasm for art and the way the community has embraced the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents,” she said.
“We broke all sorts of records for the event: record number of entries, record prize money and record crowds that turned out to the launch on Friday night.”
The competition was started in 2006 by former Merredin MP Brendon Grylls.
This year’s winners included young artist Cassidy Smith, photographers Lynley Arnott and Kate Caughey, artists De Passey, Duncan Trueman, Val Curtis and Lee Snibson.
An iron sculpture by Peter Forbes and students won the Arc Infrastructure prize.
Agricultural Region MLC Colin de Grussa said he was impressed with interest in the arts in the Wheatbelt.
“Events such as this highlight the rich talent of artists across a diverse cross-section of the community, and the important role art plays, allowing people to tell their stories,” he said.
“The arts scene in the Wheatbelt is going from strength to strength at the moment, invigorated by the Public Silo Trail, WAM’s Wheatbelt Touring Circuit series and events such as the Wheatbelt Art Prize.”
Jo Millington won the Merredin Shire acquisition prize for her painting (left) Salmon Gum.