Colour­ful view of the world

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - By KYLIE WIL­SON

BE­HIND the vi­brant colours and colour­ful brush strokes of the works of Beech­worth’s Va­lerie Crosse lie a fas­ci­na­tion with colour, move­ment, and her en­vi­ron­ment. A keen painter since child­hood, she re­mem­bers first hon­ing her craft paint­ing in an art stu­dio ev­ery Fri­day af­ter­noon and build­ing her skills. A res­i­dent of the North East for the past 30 years – as well as be­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced yoga teacher - Va­lerie said she is in­spired by her en­vi­ron­ment when it comes to her work, as well as by travel. “Both my par­ents were world trav­ellers,” she said, and it has given her “a 360 de­gree view of the world”. “I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated by dif­fer­ent cul­tures.” Va­lerie said she is in­spired by the coun­try­side and sur­round­ings of the North East. “There’s so many at­trac­tive land­scapes and veg­e­ta­tion,” she said, not­ing that Beech­worth and the North East also had a rich, di­verse and vi­brant artis­tic and creative com­mu­nity. Va­leries’s lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion, Out of the Blue, is be­ing held as part of the up­com­ing Spring Arts Fes­ti­val, from Oc­to­ber 26-Novem­ber 25, with the ex­hi­bi­tion it­self run­ning the en­tire length of the fes­ti­val. Va­lerie said the name of her ex­hi­bi­tion was in­spired by mo­ments in life that come “out of the

Va­lerie said the name of her ex­hi­bi­tion was in­spired by mo­ments in life that come “out of the blue” and ir­re­versibly change the way that you see, and in­ter­act with the world. “Out of the blue, things just strike you that are ap­peal­ing,” she said. “All of the works are about things I’ve been taken with un­ex­pect­edly.” Spring Arts co­or­di­na­tor Daren Pope said the event’s pro­gram fea­tured events to de­light art lovers from all walks of life, and the town has had a rich history of at­tract­ing creative and artis­tic peo­ple. This will be un­der­lined dur­ing the fes­ti­val with guided art walks that will in­form peo­ple of some of the promient artists, sci­en­tists, ex­plor­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors whose lives and ca­reers in­ter­sected with Beech­worth af­ter the dis­cov­ery of gold. “Beech­worth at­tracted a whole lot of re­ally promi­nent artists,” Daren said, notable among them artist and teacher Eu­gen von Guer­ard, promi­nent car­toon­ist and il­lus­tra­tor Ni­cholas Che­va­lier and po­lice of­fi­cer and ex­plorer Robert O’Hara Burke, just to name a few. Daren said the on­go­ing growth of Spring Arts was some­thing that those in­volved in the Beech­worth Arts Coun­cil took pride in. “It’s go­ing from strength to strength,” he said. “Spring is an ideal time to cel­e­brate cre­ativ­ity,” he said, ex­plain­ing that the Beech­worth Arts Coun­cil and Spring Arts or­gan­is­ers saw them­selves as fa­cil­i­ta­tors and an um­brella for a range of arts re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties. “We’re try­ing to es­tab­lish re­ally strong links with other com­mu­nity groups,” said Daren, who is work­ing on his PhD on the role of re­gional artis­tic com­mu­ni­ties. “We want to cre­ate an aware­ness of the value of com­mu­nity arts.” Speak­ing about Va­lerie’s work, Daren said “land­scape re­ally is the lan­guage of Indigo”. Out of the Blue will be held at the Christ Church at 29 Ford Street, Beech­worth, from 9am-5pm seven days a week dur­ing the Spring Arts Fes­ti­val (ex­hi­bi­tion ac­cess de­pend­ing on church ser­vice times). Long term arts coun­cil mem­ber Chris Dormer, who is co­or­di­nat­ing a fes­ti­val project of small sculp­tural works en­ti­tled O is for Ob­ject, said that the sculp­tures will show­case a wide va­ri­ety of tal­ent from through­out the re­gion. The sculp­tures can be seen dur­ing the fes­ti­val at Beech­worth Li­brary, the lo­cal WAW branch and var­i­ous shopfronts in town. “It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal artists to show their work in Beech­worth,” Chris said, en­cour­ag­ing art lovers from near and far to take in the sculp­ture ex­hibits, as well as the va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place dur­ing the fes­ti­val. Spring Arts fea­tures a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­hi­bi­tion through­out its run, in­clud­ing open stu­dios, the El­e­ments of Indigo project where artists have been en­cour­aged to ex­plore ex­pres­sions of place and iden­tity and cre­ate works which re­veal el­e­ments of the re­gion, a flower show of spring colour called Fresh Bloom, mem­bers of Opera Schol­ars Aus­tralia in con­cert per­form­ing La Pri­mav­era, a series of baroque arias, and more. For more in­for­ma­tion on the vast range of events oc­cur­ring through­out the fes­ti­val, fol­low the links at the Beech­worth Arts Coun­cil web­site at beech­worthartscoun­

PHOTO: Wendy Stephens.

◆ VI­BRANT: Va­lerie Crosse’s art will be ex­hib­ited dur­ing Beech­worth’s up­com­ing Spring Arts Fes­ti­val.

◆ RAIN­BOW TONES: A colour­ful Va­lerie Cross piece en­ti­tled Notes on a Fam­ily Tree.

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