Lifetimes of artistry
FOR the past 12 years, the opening of A Feast of Art exhibition held by the Milawa Gourmet Region Association Incorporated has become synonymous with the first days of spring in the region.
And local resident and artist Robyn Chambers is synonymous with the show itself.
She said the show first began when members of the Milawa Gourmet Region Association, who were of the view that food, wine and art go hand in hand, discussed running a local art show.
Among those who helped bring the exhibition to fruition in its early days were the late David and Pat Beckworth who owned Spindrift Weaving Gallery in the area.
Robyn said that A Feast of Art continues to go from strength to strength as the years go on, with last year’s exhibition boasting around 200 entries.
A committed artist for over 50 years, and a resident of the North East since the mid 1980s, she is passionate about the show.
“The art show is a lot of work to run but it is also lots of fun and you get to meet the artists and interact with them over the time they enter until the show is over,” Robyn said. “I love seeing what they enter each year. “I absolutely love open night, and handing out the prizes on the night is wonderful.”
“I consider our art show very friendly in that respect, it is a great art show for first time exhibitors to get a feel for how their work is viewed.
“I have entered art shows myself and had art work sold, it is a huge thrill to think someone actually liked your work enough to take it home and hang it on their wall. “I was amazed the first time I sold a painting.” She said she loved the lively community feel of the exhibition.
“I sit on the door at the hall for the 10 days and it’s lovely to see visitors come to the show from all over the place.”
Robyn’s main media is painting with oils and a palette knife and she can often be found working for hours at a time on her pieces.
“Creating art is so very good for you, no matter what the medium is,” she said.
“I know from experience you feel elated when it goes right.”
A resident of the North East for around a decade, Feast of Art’s latest judge, Mark Greenhill, has always been surrounded by creativity.
Primarily a painter, he originally studied at the Tasmanian College of Fine Art in the early 1950s and his study covered a number of artistic disciplines, including photography.
He has spent many years working as a graphic designer and a press, wedding and commercial photographer and also raised a family of four with wife Janette, who passed away in 2015.
Among his favourite memories was a trip the family took in the 1970s, where he and Janette literally “painted their way” around Australia – including the outback - selling paintings along the way to fund their travels.
Influenced mainly by impressionist and postimpressionist painters, he can often be found out and about at scenic spots in the North East.
Mark said some of his favourite spots to paint included the Warby Ranges and Winton Wetlands, and he always included a “living” element such as birds and native animals to his work.
“In my view, a landscape without people or fauna is like a stage without actors,” he said.
“There’s a sense of narrative that goes with the landscape.
“You’ve got to have a feeling for that moment.”
Mark said he was looking forward to seeing all the different artwork that will be on show during Feast of Art and added that he will also have some of his own work on display.
Presented by the Milawa Gourmet Region Association Incorporated, A Feast of Art will be held at the historic Oxley Hall on Snow Road, Oxley from September 1-10, with an opening night from 7pm on September 1 and doors open from 10am-4pm daily.
More information is available on afeastofart.wordpress.com and www.milawagourmet.com.au, or see A Feast of Art – Art Show on Facebook.
ANNUAL FEAST: Robyn Chambers has been involved with the Feast of Art art show since its beginnings around 12 years ago and still enjoys being a part of the event.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: Wangaratta based artist Mark Greenhill will be judging paintings at the Feast of Art show in Oxley this spring.
VIEWS FOR MILES: This landscape painting by Mark Greenhill, entitled Pangerang Spring, shows the view from the Pangerang lookout in the Warby Ranges.