Mary Valley inspires artists

CHALLENGE: Artistic director Heinke Butt unwraps painting for the Mary Valley Art Festival.
CHALLENGE: Artistic director Heinke Butt unwraps painting for the Mary Valley Art Festival. Contributed

A COLOUR palette of browns, ochres and blues with uplifting purples has been provided to artists participating in an innovative Mary Valley project.

Paintings are flooding the Imbil Post Office for the “Mary Valley Alive” 10/10 collaborative piece which will be unveiled at the Mary Valley Art Festival on July 8.

Artistic director Heinke Butt said the project celebrated the annual festival's 10th anniversary but as importantly, it celebrated the elements of the Mary Valley and its coveted country lifestyle.

“This project has pushed our artists out of their comfort zone,” Ms Butt said.

“We gave them a limited colour palette and we also specified the size of their paintings. But they rose to the challenge and it is mind blowing what they have come up with.”

The artists do not know what the final concept will look like, except that 130 paintings, each approximately eight inches square, are being prepared in four different colour palettes.

Ms Butt said the purple palette added “zing” and a contemporary spirit to the artwork, but could also be interpreted to reflect the jacarandas in flower.

Ms Butt comes from a background of interior design in the retail industry and is now studying a Bachelor of Arts (Art).

She said projects such as 10/10 build spirit and the participating artists immediately developed a bond.

“And it's great for our little valley to realise that we can plan and carry off big projects like this.”

The collaborative project is a feature of the art festival, and will be displayed alongside entries in the regular exhibition.

Artists still have time to enter paintings in numerous categories, until June 18. Entry forms can be collected from various outlets in the Gympie region and outlying areas, including the Gympie Public Art Gallery and the Gympie Libraries network or downloaded from www.maryvalleyshow .com

The arts festival will kick off at the Imbil Public Hall on July 8 with an official gala award presentation opened by radio personality Jamie Dunn.

In total more than $5000 will be awarded to artists who enter the prestigious festival.

Organiser Jan Watt said the festival was expected to attract strong registrations in the vicinity of 400 entries, which reflected its excellent reputation since it was started 10 years ago.

The festival's open award has $1000 in prize money. Other categories offering $400 in prize money include landscape, novice, human form and the acquisitive abstract and miniature categories.

A standard addition to the program is now the People's Choice Award, sponsored by Borumba Deer Park and announced on the third and last day of the festival.

Inquiries to or phone Jan Watt on 0437 733 383.

Gympie Times

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