ARTISTS and art lovers gathered at the Galleries in the Gardens last Friday night to celebrate the opening of the group’s ninth annual Winter Warmer Exhibition.
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It was standing room only inside the Gallery’s new home on Marine Drive in Tea Gardens as guests roamed from room to room, admiring the dozens of new works created for the event.
Mingling with the crowd, Port Stephens State MP, Kate Washington, MidCoast Mayor David West and Councillor Len Roberts.
The theme of this year’s exhibition was ‘One Size Fits All’ and the artists had been tasked with creating a painting on a small canvas, while the sculptures were mounted on plinths of similar sizes.
After a welcoming address from Gallery President Trevor Cook, it was time for Maitland Senior Curator Kim Blunt to announce the winners.
“As well as aesthetics and skill, I was also mindful of the location where we are and how important the environment is to the artist and how it inspires them,” Ms Blunt told the gathering.
It was a difficult decision for Ms Blunt but in the end, the top prize for painting went to Emilie Tseronis and her work the ‘Clearing’.
“It didn’t really matter who won, it just draws attention to the talent in the area and how we support each other,” Emilie told News Of The Area.
Emilie has been a member of the Galleries in the Gardens since its inception and when she’s not working on her art projects, volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
Another long time Gallery member, Hannah Matilda won the top award for her sculpture, ‘The Boat’.
“I’ve never won anything before, I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Hannah.
The Gallery itself continues to go from strength to strength, open 6 days a week from Wednesday through to Monday.
By Margie TIERNEY