Four week arts program launches
AN exciting Spring Arts four-week program of creative events and exhibitions was launched by Beechworth Arts Council last Friday at the old hospital façade in Beechworth’s Church Street.
Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the ways in which Indigo’s landscape had been explored, depicted, cultivated and interpreted across generations was the principal theme of this year’s program, which runs from October 26 to November 25.
He told more than 40 guests at the opening that 156 years ago to the day, Bavarian scientist and meteorologist Georg von Neumayer had arrived in Beechworth during his 17,000-kilometre magnetic survey of Victoria.
Accompanying him was Austrian-born artist Eugene von Guérard who, the following day, stood in Beechworth Gorge and sketched the view towards Chevalier’s Mill, just below where Newtown Falls bridge was later built in 1875.
“The mill was owned by a Russian-domiciled family whose sons, viticulturalist Louis and artist Nicholas Chevalier, had been sent by their father to Melbourne in 1854 to check on the viability of the family’s Australian investments,” Mr Kronborg said.
“Eugene von Guérard and Nicholas Chevalier went on to become two of colonial Australia’s pre-eminent artists.
“Von Guérard became regarded as the better artist, but Chevalier in 1864 won the Victorian Fine Arts Commission prize for ‘The Buffalo Ranges’, the first painting of an Australian subject to be acquired by what became the National Gallery of Victoria collection.”
Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor, who launched the program, said that in the past two years she had seen the arts develop a strong profile where it contributed economically and socially to the community.
She said the shire had become a hub for cultural endeavour and art history and the Arts Council’s Spring Arts program brought together and enabled the community to celebrate these achievements.
Mr Kronborg said a one-off Spring Arts event this year would be a collaborative performance of ‘Queen’ songs by the Empire Hotel’s community pub choir and Opera Scholars Australia on November 25.
“The community is encouraged to join in,” he said.
Mr Kronborg said contemporary interpretations of Indigo landscape would feature in the Spring Arts group exhibition, to be shown in the Beechworth Town Hall from November 15.
“The landscape and the legacy of Eugene von Guérard will be explored in ‘Art chat’ by von Guérard biographer Ruth Pullin, Beechworth historian Jacqui Durrant, artist Alan Phillips and art scholar Daren John Pope on November 24,” he said.
The full Spring Arts program can be found at www.beechworthartscouncil.org. au and ticketed events at trybooking.com by searching for springarts18.
CELEBRATED: Beechworth Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg (left), outgoing Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor, Spring Arts convenor Daren John Pope with artist Inga Hanover at last Friday’s launch of Spring Arts at the old hospital façade in Church Street.