Freelance writing from the beautiful Sunshine Coast...
Richest art prize on the Coast
There was movement at the station for the word had passed around, the richest art prize in the region had come their way. So the painters and the buskers and the sculptors and the artists had all joined together on that day.
September 28th to October 11th marks the Kenilworth Celebrates! arts festival. And with $17,500 first prize for the Kenilworth Painting Prize the event is "an opportunity for artist to show their work" says Margaret from the Kenilworth Arts Council, but "this is also your big chance to get in quick to buy something for yourself before they're totally famous!"
The 15 finalists' entries will be on display in the Town Hall from 10am - 4pm each day with a gold coin donation for entry to the exhibition.
"The painting only competition with a major prize is intended to encourage emerging Australian artists and for the professional development of established artists." the website explains.
The other highly coveted award is the Kenilworth Trophy Art prize which this year is $2,000 and a handcarved red cedar jewel box made by Jack Wilms from Obi Valley Woodworks. The Competition which has 9 categories: Landscape, Miniatures, Still Life, The Human Form, Animal Life, Contemporary Art and Portraits will also be on display and for sale in the Kenilworth Hall during the festival. Each category has prize money ranging from $500 to $750. The Trophy Art Prize will be awarded to the overall winner with $500 for the People's Choice Award.
The winners will be announced on the Preview night Friday, 3rd October.
The Festival begins with the Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra performing at the Kenilworth Historic Homestead on the evening of Sunday 28th October. The 40 piece orchestra will be performing a concert of classical and light music to begin the magic of the festival under a new moon. Tickets are $25 (no concessions) and available from the Kenilworth Newsagency or online.
But what festival would be complete without a festival mood! And this is where the Fun Weekend comes inů over the weekend of 4th and 5th October there will be close to 40 different displays, acts and exhibitions to keep the crowds entertained.
Kickstart the morning with local poet Ian Mackay at the Bush Poet's Alfresco Breakfast at the Kenilworth Hall grounds. Entry is $5 and breakfast and lunch is available from the menu.
From there make your way around the various locations in town to be entertained by the many street performers and stalls. With the likes of Funky Sand Art, tie dye workshops, balloon artists a puppet show to keep the kids amused you might be forgiven for putting your feet up to listen to local lady Shandelle perform her own original songs or Kate Meehan, Australian Blues vocalist both at the Cheese Factory. Guitarists and other street performers including Tribal Fusion bellydancers, Kashmiri Tribal and the formidable duo of Rubatuba (accordion and tuba!) will keep the crowd on their toes.
International Chainsaw Artist
And if it's noise of a different type you're into then make sure you don't miss Keith Gall, international champion chainsaw sculptor opposite the Kenilworth Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.
Felt making demonstrations and wearable art, plaster art fun and teddybear making demonstrations are also some of the activities you might like to join in with. Pick up a quirky painted gourd in the shape of a chicken to add to your home or make a flute from bamboo or interactive craft from natural found items.
If you're old guitar has seen better days then get along to Riff Rat's stall in the Kenilworth Town Park as he demonstrates how to give life back to an old guitar and turn it into your own piece of art.
Ceramics, woodworks and basket weaving demonstrations using the notorious Cat's Claw vine not only helps remove the pest from riverbanks but also turns and unwanted product into a practical and functional item.
Perhaps a longbow making or blacksmith demonstration will have you raising your chalice to Sir Justin's Eslite d'Corps (a medieval English household of the 14th Century) as they show you how to make honey mead and other crafts from that era.
The St John Bosco Church will also host an art exhibition. This year they announce "Ten Artists in Retrospect". It will showcase the artists from the past 10 years with artists expressing spiritual, humanitarian or religious views through art.
In the week proceeding the Fun Weekend there are 11 different 4 to 5 day workshops with professional tutors covering the various mediums. Bookings are essential. See website for details.
The weekend is jam packed with activities. The festival program is available on the website and for more details of time and venues and is accommodation options go to www.kenilworthcelebrates.org.au
As the website proudly says "Come to the Bush Behind the Beach! Come to Kenilworth to relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery, clean, green environment and celebrate the great Arts Festival."