Four week arts pro­gram launches

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CORAL COOKSLEY

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.beech­worthartscoun­ au and tick­eted events at try­book­ by search­ing for springarts18.

PHOTO: Coral Cooksley.

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.

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