TOUGH JOB: USC Art Gallery manager Megan Williams (left) with art educator Dr Christine Kirkegard as they judge the entries.
TOUGH JOB: USC Art Gallery manager Megan Williams (left) with art educator Dr Christine Kirkegard as they judge the entries. Contributed

REVEALED: Mary Valley Art Festival winners announced

SANDRA Ross went home with the $2500 Bendigo Bank Open Award as well as a highly commended in the still life category at the 2019 Mary Valley Art Festival last night.

Sandra's name is well-known in Gympie and Sunshine Coast art circles and she is a regular entrant at the annual festival at Imbil, which gave away more than $8000 in prizes this year.

More than 200 entries were judged by USC Art Gallery manager Megan Williams and art educator Dr Christine Kirkegard.

The exhibition showcased a vibrant and diverse representation from local and regional artists, Dr Kirkegard said.

"It brings together the work of both professional and developing artists in a celebratory atmosphere in the historic public hall and picturesque town of Imbil,” she said.

"Outstanding is the Bendigo Bank Open Award winning entry Teetering, an arresting mixed media image of life in the balance by Sandra Ross.”

Dr Kirkegard highlighted other award winning works including the "tangible and charming” woven and winged poodle Animal Magic by Carol Weir (winner 3D) and the "evocative” painting of a lone figure in the landscape Travels of Solitude Man by Tim Noles (winner novice category).

Festival co-ordinator Heinke Butt is president of the organising body, Mary Valley Artslink.

She said the wide range of subject matter and materials used in the entries ensured that this year's festival was one not to be missed.

"I am delighted with the quality of work entered again this year, from emerging to established artists,” she said.

"Our committee is very grateful for grants we received from RADF, Gympie, as well as the Volunteer Grants Program.

"These grants enabled us to purchase this amazing new display system that helps to ensure that each artwork can be displayed to its best advantage.

"The generosity of local sponsors has enabled the festival to attract and grow our artists, giving them the opportunity to be recognised and to have their work seen by the wider community.”

One of those sponsors is Imbil Country Cabins and owner Karen Phillips was thrilled to support the Mary Valley Art Festival.

"It is truly inspiring to see the work of such creative and talented individuals on show. We feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to acknowledge one of these gifted artists through our sponsorship of the People's Choice Award,” Ms Phillips said.

"We are proud and humbled to be a part of such an innovative and inclusive community and look forward to continuing our support for many years to come.”

The exhibition continues today and tomorrow from 10am-3pm at the Imbil Public Hall, Edward St, Imbil.

The people's choice and youth awards are part of the closing celebrations tomorrow, with food vans, markets, music, art demonstrations, children's art and a licensed bar.


Bendigo Bank Open Award: Teetering - Sandra Ross 1, Reach - India Gladwood HC, Ars Longa Vita Brevis - Meaghan Shelton HC.

Imbil Friendly Grocer Award (3D): Animal Magic - Carol Weir 1, Cloak On Crucifix - Trevor Irvine HC.

Ron Jeffery Award (landscape): Storm Down The Valley - Kathy Burden 1, Glass House Mountains - Colin Van Kruining HC, Stormy Sky - Anne Briggs HC.

GMT Heavy Mechanical Award (novice) - Travels Of Solitude Man - Tim Noles 1, Braided Maiden - Melissa Maree HC.

Animalia: Repairs Needed - Keith Blake 1, Bath Time - Yvonne Thompson HC, Devotion - Jacqui Close HC.

Railway Hotel Award (still life): Tea Time - Sherrie Rowan 1, The One And The Many 2 - Sandra Ross HC, Goon - Kirk Radunz HC.

Human form: Self Portrait - Donna Munro 1, Free To Be - Victoria Fitzpatrick HC.

Drawing: Stage To Gympie With The Cream Team - John Morrison 1, Guanacos, Patagonia - Nonie Metzler HC.

Gympie Living Award (abstract): Mount Wellington - Libby Parke 1, Wildflowers In Every Way - Jane Thompson HC, Argentum Circle - Glenys Fentiman HC.

The Youth and People's Choice Award winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon.