2018 Exhibitions

Miniatures XIX

Exhibitions of miniature artworks by Upper Hunter artists have been a regular feature on the Arts Centre exhibition program for over two decades. The guidelines given to the artists for the exhibition are based on the Australian Society of Miniature Art rules, which state the actual artwork should not measure more than 40cm in perimeter and the subject should be miniaturised. Artists are given free reign regarding subject matter, choice of medium, technique and style.

As such Miniatures sees a diversity of works in mediums that includes amongst others photography, silverpoint, embroidery, sculpture, ceramics,watercolour, oil, charcoal and pencil.

The tradition of miniature painting stretches back hundreds of years and across many cultures. The universal appeal for miniature painting continues to this day, with a network of artists, galleries and societies all over the world devoted to this art form.

Delight in the miniature artworks of among our finest Upper Hunter artists!

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Exhibiting from 2 September to 21 October 2018.

Opening night
6pm Saturday 1 September 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Teresa Byrne, Pegasus
2018, silverpoint.

Ancient Stories, New Narratives

 

Ancient Stories, New Narratives

21st Century Aboriginal Women’s Art from the Desert New works from the Sims Dickson Collection

New developments in desert art include both the
innovation of artists confident to work at ever larger
scale, and also the creation of intimate insights into
their daily lived experiences. 

Featuring stunning tjukurpa paintings by senior artists
such as Angkaliya Curtis, Yaritji Young, Carleen West
and Tjaruwa Woods, alongside honest and moving
narratives of contemporary life, including the ongoing
effects of the Maralinga tests, chronic renal disease,
poverty and alcohol abuse. Together these recent
paintings, ceramics and
tjanpi weaving provide a cogent
snapshot of the current 'state of the art' from desert
communities and town camps. 

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Exhibiting from 13 May to 1 July 2018. Opening night
6pm Saturday 12 May 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Sally M Mulda Nangala, Abbott’s Camp
2016 (detail), acrylic on linen, 125 x 200cm, painted at
Tangentyere Artists, Alice Springs, Sims Dickson
Collection.

Ancient Stories New Narratives Catalogue

Last Bus to Riley Street - Max Watters

 

Last Bus to Riley Street

 The Max Watters Preview Exhibition for 2018

 This year’s preview of Max Watters’ latest group of
paintings will be the last to travel on from the
Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre to the Watters
Gallery in Riley Street East Sydney. Sadly after 54 years
the Watters Gallery will close at the end of 2018. This
is the end of an era for Australian art. The Watters
Gallery has been at the forefront of the avant garde and
the very best that Australian art has had to offer since its
inception in 1964. Max Watters held his first solo
exhibition at the Watters Gallery in 1966 and has
continued to exhibit there every year or two till the
present. The close connection between the Watters
Gallery and its directors Alex and Geoffrey Legge and
Frank Watters (Max’s older brother) and the
Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre is directly related 

 

 

 

 

 

to the connection between Max and the Upper Hunter.
Max has been painting the built environment of the
rural Upper Hunter since 1962 - this is his subject, it is
what he loves and his paintings have recorded the slow
demise of a bygone time of slab huts, Georgian
architecture and bush carpentry. The buildings Max has
carefully rendered into his singular style of geometry
and texture have reached the end of their natural life,
every day another old building falls down, every day the
questions about the future of the Upper Hunter mount
up and Max Watters latest paintings reflect and ask
these same questions.

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Exhibiting from 13 May to 1 July 2018. Opening night
6pm Saturday 12 May 2018. Free entry with 
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.
 
 

Hunterbelle logo

Photo: Brad Franks,
Max Watters, in the Winter Studio.

 

 

The Joy of Colour - Tia Gabriellah

 

 

 

 

 

For Muswellbrook artist Tia Gabriellah, painting which began as a form of therapy has grown to become her all-consuming passion, herself redefined as an artist. She holds the firm belief that art has the power to heal and bring joy to the world; her colourful impastolandscape and flower paintings, in oils or acrylics on canvas, designed to transport the viewer to a place of beauty.

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 Exhibiting from 13 May to 1 July 2018. Opening night 6pm Saturday 12 May 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines, Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Artwork: Tia Gabriellah, Barrington Mountains 2018 (detail), acrylic on canvas.

 

 

 

Illumination - Muswellbrook High School Photography Students

Muswellbrook High School

Photography Students

 

Muswellbrook High School students explore ways in which the history of the invisible or the forgotten
can be illuminated and documented through the medium of photography.

Travelling to the Biennale of Sydney to experience the international festival of contemporary art, the
students visited Cockatoo Island and documented variousaspects of the location as a place of change
and diverse histories.

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Exhibiting from 13 May to 1 July 2018. Opening night 6pm Saturday 12 May 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines, Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Kate RowlandsCockatoo Island 2018, digital output print.

 

 

 

 

 

A Survey of Small Sculpture - Paul Selwood

Paul Selwood

A Survey of Small Sculpture

 

In a natural progression following his survey of large
sculpture at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in 2016,
Wollombi, Hunter Valley sculptor Paul Selwood brings
to Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre a survey of his
small sculpture. While it by no means covers all of the
themes he has worked on over a fifty-year practice, it
does bring together many of the key works from which
many variations evolved.

 

 There is nothing new in my work method, oxy and plasma
cutting, welding, and forging began with Picasso’s first welded
sculpture ‘Construction in Wire’ in 1928.

 

 From there a tradition developed. The main players were Julio
Gonzalez in Spain, David Smith in the United States and
Anthony Caro in England. This was the origin of the concept of

 

 

 

sculpture that is built in space rather than modelled. 
                                                               Paul Selwood

Most of the sculptures in this survey employ a cut and
fold technique in which a drawing on steel is cut through
the plate and the elements still attached to the plate are
then folded out of the plane into the third dimension.

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Exhibiting from 8 July to 26 August 2018. Opening
night 6pm Saturday 7 July 2018. Free entry with 
refreshments courtesy of Small Forest, Hunter Belle
Cheese and Pukara Estate.

 

 Hunterbelle logo

 

Artwork: Paul Selwood, Just Sitting 2014, painted steel,
76 x 57 x 40cm. Photo: Stephen Oxenbury.

 

The Locals - 60 Years Collecting Upper Hunter

This exhibition marks a significant milestone in the history of the Muswellbrook Shire Council and its predecessors - 60 years of collecting artworks resulting in one of the great regional collections of Australian art. It all began with the Muswellbrook Art Prize in 1958, then known as the Festival of the Valley Art Prize. This acquisitive painting prize began a collection of artworks that now numbers over 1,300 pieces. That first Prize in 1958 saw two works establish what is now called the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection, those two Prizes were:. 

1. For a painting of any subject by an artist resident anywhere in Australia, won by the then Newcastle based Thomas Gleghorn; and
2. For a painting of any subject by an artist resident in Muswellbrook and surrounding districts, won by Muswellbrook resident Viola Bromley.

As the years continued the Prize grew to add a section for Works on Paper, Ceramics and a separate Photography Award. All these were acquisitive, but over the years there were also periods where the local section ceased to be acquisitive, dependent to some degree on the availability of sponsors and also concern over the space required to store and display an ever increasing collection.

Fortunately, local philanthropist and artist Max Watters OAM came to the rescue of the local artists by proceeding to purchase significant works by locals even when the Council had ceased to collect them. This meant that by the time Max handed his extraordinary collection over to the people of Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Region in 2004 it contained, alongside the famous and the important, examples of the artistic endeavours of many local artists reaching back over the years and filling in those gaps where the Muswellbrook Local Art Prize had been unable to.

In recent years it has been the policy of the Arts Centre to collect as many local artists work as possible and despite monetary constraints the number of locals represented in the Muswellbrook Collections has continued to grow, often via the continued generosity of Max Watters, sometimes by the generosity of the artists themselves or other local collectors and occasionally by some clever accounting by Arts Centre staff.

To celebrate 60 years of the Collections curator Elissa Emerson, Arts Centre Public Programs Officer, has chosen to focus on the Locals in the Collections, choosing 60 significant artworks by 60 significant local artists. Not every local artist is represented in this selection, there are currently 171 local artists with work in the Collections, but this was due to that age old problem of space. I believe that what Elissa has done here is to create an overview of the locals and in that process Elissa gives us the breadth and diversity of artistic expression that the Upper Hunter Region has given to the arts in Australia.

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Exhibiting from 2 September to 21 October 2018. Opening night
6pm Saturday 1 September 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Dale Frank, The Spiteful Tuffets Palette
1984, oil on canvas, 117 x 174cm; Donated by Iam MacNeill,Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.

Naomi Norris "Keeping it Local"

Moving to Muswellbrook from Bourke five years ago, artist Naomi Norris was struck by the contrast between the two landscapes, so overwhelmed that she immediately began photographing the local area and contemplating an exhibition of artworks based on these photographs.

The body of work that has emerged, that includes paintings, works on paper and three dimensional artworks, reflect local issues - the obvious impacts of the coal industry as alluded to in High Vis Everywhere, the importance of buying local in Just Another Day, and the equine culture captured in The Best Seats.

Norris does not concentrate on any particular medium, subject matter or style in her practice as an artist; her exposure to the art world in a digital age has lead her over the past two years to add a number of new media, including polymer clay, paper cutting and resin, to her regular repertoire of pencil, photography, acrylic and watercolour.

While reflecting only a few short years as a local, Norris’ Keeping it Local urges both locals and visitors to the area to take a closer look and share their own connections to the Hunter Valley. .

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Exhibiting from 2 September to 21 October 2018.

Opening night
6pm Saturday 1 September 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Naomi Norris, The Water is Home
2018 (detail), acrylic on canvas, 76 x 76cm

2018 Muswellbrook Local Art Awards

Held annually, the Muswellbrook Local Art Awards are exclusively designated to artists of the Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter Shires.

Recipients of the prizes have in the past been a wonderful showcase of local big names, undiscovered talent and firsttimers who go on to become regular entrants of the Awards.

The prize sections highlight the breadth and depth of artistic talent in the Upper Hunter Region and are supported by, and in honour of the contributions of, major local art figures and businesses: Esther Bellis, Viola Bromely, Garry Philp, Max Watters OAM, along with Berry & French Pharmacy, Elks Enterprises, Framing Good, Hunter Valley Hydraulink, Hunter Valley Printing and Morgan + English - sponsors of the inaugural MLAA People’s Choice Prize!.

The Adjudicator for the 2018 Awards is Lisa Kirkpatrick, Collection and Exhibitions Officer at Newcastle Gallery.

With such a variety of art forms in competition for a prize pool of now $7,000, it’s no wonder that the Muswellbrook Local Art Awards are a draw card for steadfast loyal locals, who make it the successful and popular art event of the Upper Hunter Region each year.

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Exhibiting from 28 September to 23 December 2018.

Opening night 6pm Saturday 27 October 2018. Free entry with refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines, Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Rebecca Rath, Springfield, Oakvale Wines
2017,  Winner; Viola Bromley Painting Prize, First Prize, Muswellbrook Local Art Awards 2017.

Entry Form download coming soon.

Watters to Watters "End of an Era"

The significance of the Watters family to the arts of the Upper Hunter Region cannot be underestimated. Frank Watters and Max Watters - brothers, artists, collectors, philanthropists and Muswellbrook boys, stand alone in their contributions to the arts of the nation and the generosity of their gift to the Upper Hunter Region and the people of Muswellbrook.

While Max is, of course, the great benefactor of Muswellbrook and of the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Frank along with his fellow Directors of the Watters Gallery in East Sydney, Alex and Geoffrey Legge, have spent the last 54 years at the cutting edge of Australian art supporting and nurturing such important artists as Micky Allan, Vivienne Binns, Mike Brown, James Clifford, Aleksander Danko, John Davis, Betty Gleeson, Ian Howard, Robert Jenyns, Richard Larter, Euan Macleod, Reg Mombassa, John Peart, Oliffe Richmond, Tony Tuckson, Vicki Varvaressos and Ken Whisson along with many more. All the artists named here are represented in the Max Watters Collection along with many more from the Watters Gallery family. Max often purchased these artistsjust as they were commencing on what have become major artistic journeys within the Australian experience and often overseas.

The Max Watters Collection is an Australian National Treasure and to a large degree this is due to that family connection both between two brothers and their shared love of art and between the larger Watters Gallery family of artists of which Max was both an important part and an important collector. I have used the past tense here because this is the final year of the Watters Gallery’s operation. While Max and Frank and Alex and Geoffrey will no doubt continue their love of art, at years end the Watters Gallery will be no more.

This exhibition entitled Watters to Watters celebrates that connection between artist/collector Max Watters and the artworks he collected straight from the horse’s mouth - the Watters Gallery.


Exhibiting 28 October- 23 December

Opening Night
6pm Saturday 27 October 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

Hunterbelle logo 

Artwork: Ken Whisson, Brisbane and Stanthorpe
1980 (detail), oil on canvas, 89.5 x 119.5cm Max Watters Collection.

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