Cooloola community celebrates art at birthday bash
QUEENSLAND Governor Penelope Wensley added sophistication to 40th birthday celebrations staged by the Cooloola Art Society last Friday evening.
The Queensland Governor was back in the Gold City after visiting the region earlier this year to lend her support to a flood-ravaged Mary Valley.
Cooloola Art Society birthday celebrations coincided with the 50th Golden Jubilee of the founding of the arts community in Gympie.
The Arts Society is the oldest arts organisation in the region and was instrumental in establishing a Gympie regional art gallery, now in its 15th year.
Ms Wensley delivered a speech to invited guests and paid tribute to the Cooloola Art Society's achievements and the role art played in the Gympie community.
She acknowledged Gympie had endured a tough time in recent months with successive floods but highlighted the "distinctive character" of Gympie.
"There's so much to value and enjoy in the Gympie region," Ms Wensley said.
"Now is the time for appreciation and re-appreciation for what we have."
To mark the historic occasion, Ms Wensley opened the Cooloola Art Society's 2013 Golden Jubilee Retrospective Exhibition and the Gympie Regional Gallery for the first time.
The Queensland Governor used her speech to celebrate individual creativity and said the exhibition was "a showcase of the courage and mettle of a community".
"Art reflects on a community's achievements and its possibilities," she said.
"We need the arts in our lives as a new way to see things, to stimulate us."
Ms Wensley concluded by calling for "champions" to help fight for the arts given the ongoing challenges in securing funding.