Judge Kevin Oxley views the works on display at the Mary Valley Art Festival.
Judge Kevin Oxley views the works on display at the Mary Valley Art Festival. Renee Pilcher

Artists vie for Valley art prize

GUEST judge Kevin Oxley had a hard job ahead of him yesterday in judging the winners of the Mary Valley Art Festival.

As he viewed the record entries, he commented the quality of the work on offer was outstanding, across the board.

“I’m going to have a hard job,” he said.

Mr Oxley, whose art career started in 1969 and spanned over four decades, said he didn’t know what to expect of the Mary Valley Art Festival, but was amazed with the talent yesterday.

“The more I look, the more impressed I am,” he said.

Looking for something that caught his eye, Mr Oxley was interested in art that had something to say.

“Some just hit you as being good.”

Mr Oxley also tried to find pieces that had a balance of creativity, originality and craft.

The winners of the 13 categories will be announced at Thursday night’s gala opening, which starts at 6pm.

Also at the opening the Mary Valley Alive project will be unveiled.

The project attracted 112 artists who painted tiles depicting what the Mary Valley meant to them.

Each artist also wrote a story about their work which has been compiled into a catalogue and will be on sale Thursday night.

Festival co-ordinator Jan Watt said this year the 312 entries received were of extremely high quality and about 50 per cent of entries were from the Sunshine Coast with the remaining 50 per cent from the Gympie and Wide Bay regions.

“The committee worked very hard,” she said.

“Come along on opening night and bring the family on the weekend.”

The festival runs from July 9–11 at the Imbil Public Hall. The People’s choice award will be announced at the Borumba Deer Park on Sunday with a wine and cheese afternoon from 1pm.

Gympie Times


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