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Art Gallery of Ballarat

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by Andrew Burton (subscribe)
I am a Freelance Writer-Photographer and Novelist. I travel to find inspiration, wherever the distant horizons lead.
Published May 18th 2015
Art reflecting Australia's beginnings and contemporary art
Leisure Physics.
Dylon Matorell's Leisure Physics, a fiesta of light, colour, shape and sound.
 
Art Gallery Ballarat.
The entrance to a world of fine art.
Established in 1884, the Art Gallery of Ballarat can boast being the oldest and largest Australian regional art gallery. The permanent collection is allocated specific rooms based on the date of creation and provides help to understand how art has developed during Australia's gold rush. The oldest section of the gallery was built between 1887 and 1890 and is a fine display of the opulence of a fast growing colony.

Discover modern concepts and culture in the contemporary art display, and current Exhibitions includes work by;

Dylon Matorell; a Melbourne based artist and musician. The attributes that typify his work are high discipline and an exacting attention to detail, this combines with a mayhem of initiative and a showcase of appeal. His art reflects the natural world, mythology, human ritual and ethnography and the final effect is a creation of colour, pattern, sound and line.
 
Peter Blizzard's Ponte Timeless Coast.
Peter Blizzard's Ponte Timeless Coast.
Peter Blizzard traded life as a graphic designer in the Post-Master General's Office in the 1960's, and worked his way into the world of art. He is amongst the greatest of Australian sculptors. He spent 30 years teaching sculpting at Ballarat University, and still produced the art work recognised as his hallmark.

Alumination is an exhibition combining efforts from students at the University of Ballarat reflecting art over a 30 year period. The works include a wide spectrum of mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, digital media, photography and ceramics.

Eugene Von Guerard's depiction of Ballarat at the height of the first gold rushes, shows the city of canvas as it existed until more permanence came to be in the 1860's. An epic era never to be forgotten, so short, notorious and colourful. The accuracy of the1853-54 painting by Von Guerard is commendable.
 
Alumination.
Alumination; a reflection of 30 years of student art at the University of Ballarat.
A great Indigenous sculptor, Patrick (Paddy) Freddy Puruntatameri carved Purukuparli circa 1990. Comprised of natural pigments carved in ironwood, with string and feathers, the piece was presented as a gift under the Cultural Gifts Program of 2008.

Lou Hubbard's display is thought provoking and she is the Guirguis New Art Prize award winner for 2015. See the galleries website for details. A Queensland born artist, now living and working in Melbourne, and she has been accredited with a string of fine art exhibitions. Her display called Dead Still Standing is no exception.

Australians at War 1914 - 1945; until 21 June. The artistic record of Australia's involvement in both major conflicts of the 20th and is a document of those on the battle fields and the home front between 1914 and 1945.

Tours of the gallery are conducted at 2pm Wednesday to Sunday, and are hosted by devoted and well-versed volunteers. There is no need to book (except if you require a group booking), simply wait at the foot of the stairs when you arrive. Contact the gallery's reception to organise tours of a particular section of the gallery, for a special interest group. The gift shop near the entrance is a must for purchasing the works of local artists, gifts, souvenirs, toys and art books.
 
Dylan Matorell's Leisure Physics.
Eye catching light and colour by Matorell.
The Education Program at the gallery grants special access for students and teachers to high quality art that is not on display in the gallery. Currently on offer are a range activities that include practical workshops, discussion-based tours, roleplay and teacher professional development programs. In addition, the online learning resource is being extended to include integrated video conferencing. Programs are available Monday to Thursday from 9am until 5pm. The cost of $3.30 per student for member schools for a hour tour, and for 2 hours the cost is $5.50; teachers are admitted free. Private artist-run workshops and special programs incur additional charges.

After School Programs provide oppurtunites to work with local professionals in an out-of-school environment. Some of these programs are aimed at 5--8 years olds, while others may be open to all ages. Education programs can be downloaded from the gallery website. The After School Program for term 2, 2015 include drawing classes, a gallery sketch group and pre-schoolers' workshops.
 
A painting of Ballarat by Von Guerard.
Ballarat, a city of canvas and prospectors.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat has a policy to emphasise local community art talent. Apart from the regular presentation in temporary exhibitions, there is window space available on the gallery frontage for art displays.

Liquid Light: 73 degrees.
Marion Borgelt's Liquid Light: 73 degrees.


Study for the Dry Season.
Rick Amor's Study for the Dry Season.

Purukuparli.
Patrick (Paddy) Freddy Puruntatameri's Purukuparli.
The gallery has a number of upcoming events, and these include;

Ash Coates: My colinguistics, Tarli Glover's: Paper Scape, The inimitable Mr Leek, Australia's Robinson Crusoe: The fabulous tale of Louis de Rougemont, Gill in the Goldfields, Victorian Indigenous Art Awards 2015, and the Archibald Prize 2015. In addition there are talks and poetry readings.

Many more pieces exist to thrill the art lover and tourist alike. Make the gallery a part of your step back in time when you visit Ballarat. There is a cafe located inside the galleries main entrance, so take a break at Sweet Decadence and contemplate the art experience.
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Why? Visit Ballarat; one of two premier Victorian cities built on the rising wave of gold discovery.
When: Opening daily 10am until 5pm.
Phone: 03 5320 5858
Where: Ballarat is 114 kilometres from melboune along the Western Highway.
Cost: General entry and guided tours are free. Special events and school programs have varying prices.
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