The 46th Annual Portland art exhibition recently captivated locals and visitors alike. The exhibition was held for three days at the beginning of March. The theme for this year was ‘well-worn.’
The distinctive talent of local artists made for an awe-inspiring experience. There was an array of works that portrayed: Coastal scenes, plants, bush scenes, native animals, pop art, still life, portraits, snowy landscapes, post-bushfire scenes. There was even a portrait of a young Ash Barty. “The show is excellent this year. There’s a lot of variety, a wide range of artists and a lot of different content.” Portland art society member, Bruce Irvine said.
This year’s feature artist was Nikki Burns. Nikki lives in Millthorpe and has enjoyed creating art since she was a child. “Art for me is an outlet, it’s something to make me relax. Particularly watercolours, I express more with colour. I do the fine, realistic work with the pencils. I also love talking to other artists and getting together in groups. It’s my happy place.” Nikki said.
Many of Nikki’s entries captured rural life. Her work varies from imagery of hay bales to a mother sheep nurturing her lamb. “I mainly do sketching. I also do watercolour. I mainly do animals, sheds and rural scenes.” Nikki said.
Nikki has entered into the exhibition in previous years. The Portland exhibition is an event that she looks forward to. “A friend and fellow artist recommended Portland. Since I started [entering] I come back every year. The quality is amazing and the people who run it are nice. It is a really well organised event.”
Karen James won the ‘Simply drawing’ category prize with her charcoal image ‘Winters end.’ The work depicts a row of trees reflecting onto a lake. The reflection on the lake’s detail was stunningly intricate and realistic.
The Ron Bidwell prize went to Annie Joseph for her entry ‘The remains of the Lithgow co-op abattoir.’ The watercolour painting shows that while the shed has seen better days, it is capable of delivering a beautiful scene. The shed compliments the surrounding skyline, tree and field.
The Mary Hampton prize winner was Loretta Smith for her entry ‘A father’s hands.’ The image of hands clasped together showcases the wrinkles of aging. The wrinkles can symbolise years of work and sacrifice for the love of their family.
Local business owner, Merryn Hollis attends the event regularly and is always impressed by the quality of artist entries. “I really enjoy coming to the art show every year. I’m always excited to come and see the pieces. There is a lot of local talent around we’ve got to show.”
Guenther Barth’s ‘Road through the Wolgan Valley’ is incredibly lifelike. It gives the impression of staring out your car window as you travel through the serene landscape. Sunlight gleams on the mountains as you stare at the dirt road and trees. “To see local landscapes is beautiful. We’ve grown up here our whole lives and to see it in a painting is magical.” Attendee and Creative, Stevie Schumack said. “It catches your eye because it’s familiar and then you work out where it is, and that makes it more special.” Merryn added.
The Portland art exhibition is an event that the township of Portland take a lot of pride in. To be able to bring a group of incredibly talented artists together and draw the attention of wider areas is truly special. “It’s set up in the local Crystal theatre in Portland and it’s a nice event. They Portland Art Society should be very proud of themselves for the show that they put on.” Merryn Continued.
The Portland Art exhibition is held annually on the first weekend of March. For more information, you can follow the Portland Art Purchase Society inc. on Facebook.