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Katherine Savage with her work ‘Around Here’ and judges Ron Ramsey and Dr Kyla McFarlane

Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery announced the winner of the $20,000 Stanthorpe Art Prize on Friday, June 3. Katherine Savage won the prize at the Stanthorpe Art Festival for her brilliant work called ‘Around Here’ which captured the sheer beauty of nature flawlessly.

“Whilst most of the paintings for the art prize can be broadly divided into two categories, landscape and portraiture, this work incredibly captures both, incorporating numerous deftly realised portraits of the native fauna it depicts”, said judge Ron Ramsey, the Executive Director of the Art Society, NSW Art Gallery and the other judge, Dr Kyla McFarlane of QAGOMA, Brisbane.

While surprised at her winning title, talking about her painting, Katherine said, “I recently started painting again after I retired at sixty and was not expecting this accolade. This piece was started when I was living in Warwick and there are many aspects of the region depicted in this work.”

The Stanthorpe Art Festival is recognised world-wide and is a major community event. The delighted Gallery Director, Nicola Holly said, “This year we had a record amount of entries (715) from artists all across the country and even the U.S.A and New Zealand. It’s a real testament to the gallery that we’ve become recognised as one of the leading art festivals in the country”. Furthermore, she felt proud of the contribution they make in the lives of these artists.

Commenting on the broad plethora of contemporary works displayed this year; from outright paintings showcasing characters with spray cans in their hands to graffiti backgrounds, Holly added, “When people think of a regional art gallery they associate us with a generalised, largely landscape based presentation of works and this year’s exhibition couldn’t be further from that. It was great to see how many of our finalists were interested in street art and its influences.”

The Finalist’s Art Exhibition, which ends on July 17, has witnessed crowds from local as well as interstate areas. The exhibition also includes public programs that comprise of Director Talks, candle making and even yoga in the gallery.

Words by Bhairavi Jaiswal
Image supplied