From the Director - March 2024

So where to start?!

From the Director - March 2024
Photo by Eyes Wide Open Images

So were to start?! Currently on display is the amazing exhibition, Reception this way: motels – a sentimental journey with Tim Ross until 17 March. This exhibition has been so successful. Gallery visitors have been spending time wandering through the show, soaking up the images and text. People are sharing their memories of places they stayed at and the stories of what they got up to. So much fun!

If you have fond memories of motels that you stayed at over the years, come and create a memory motel with celebrated artist, Anna Carey. You will build a small-scale motel, capturing all those fabulous features that have stayed in your memory; filigree banisters, fancy light fixtures, cultural influences... I personally remember strong Swedish aesthetics in the late 70s/80s. And of course, the ever-exciting breakfast nook, gaudy but lovely reception desks and over-the-top advert signs!

Then on Friday 22 March, after a four-day closure to work our magic, we open with one of our most popular and highly anticipated annual exhibitions, Local Contemporary Art Prize 2024. Partnering with Friends of the Gallery, this exhibition is now in its tenth year. Featuring forty works selected from over 280 entries, the prize celebrates and showcases the breadth of arts practice in the Sunshine Coast region. Profiling emerging, mid-career and well-known artists with works in both 2D and 3D mediums, this exhibition is a must for all art lovers. One of my favourite exhibitions each the year, I cannot wait to see it up and open.

Once again, we have generous sponsors on board who help make the exhibition possible; so, a big thank you to the Friends of the Gallery, Mary Henzell Investments, Localvolts and Geoffrey Lyons Solicitors. With their help, the Prize continues to grow. And as the winning work will be acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, it is a prize that keeps giving!

Itamar Freed  | Tears and Time I Lost (2020-2024) | 2024 | kinetic sculpture, water from Maroochy River, artist's tears, glass, wood and metal | 35 x 50 x 47cm | Image courtesy of the artist

Itamar Freed  | Tears and Time I Lost (2020-2024) | 2024 | kinetic sculpture, water from Maroochy River, artist's tears, glass, wood and metal | 35 x 50 x 47cm | Image courtesy of the artist

Hanging in the Artroom, alongside Local Contemporary Art Prize 2024, will be the Local Student Art Prize. This exhibition celebrates the region’s budding young artists. The prize is sponsored by Friends of the Gallery and gallery patron, Marie Pigott, and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council and Caloundra Regional Gallery. There is a total prize pool of $1500 in art supplies vouchers, which will be awarded across a range of categories to winning entrants and their schools. We had over 135 entries this year and the quality was so phenomenal, we struggled to narrow down the selection. We will hang 37 works this year, with the others presented in folders to view. Truly inspiring works.

As always, there is a Kids Art Trail and self-guided hands-on art activities in the Artroom. The gallery’s Kids Art Attack, for children 4 - 10 years, is on Saturday 2 March – pop it in your calendar.

If you are down Maroochydore way, don’t forget to drop in and see Toni Rea’s abstract paintings at the Maroochydore Library Artspace. The Enchanted Drive: Landscape in motion captures and records Toni’s 40-minute drive through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The works are studies in movement, colour and light. This lovely exhibition is up until 24 March.

And to all our artists out there, the Sunshine Coast National Art Prize 2024 call for entries launches Friday 1 March… get your entry in!

With so many things happening this month, check out our website to stay up to date with what we are up to.

Look forward to seeing you in the Gallery…

Jo Duke

Jo Duke | Photo by ben vos productions

Jo Duke | Photo by ben vos productions