2019 River of Art Festival dates announced
The River of Art Festival is an established flagship event on the calendar of the South Coast of New South Wales. Held annually in May, it attracts local, regional and interstate visitors to enjoy the artistic and creative talents showcased during the Festival in this stunning region.
In 2019 the River of Art will once again, in partnership with local businesses, host open studios, offer workshops and provide avenues for performing and visual artists to strut their stuff.
This year the Festival will open on Friday 17 May with a party in Moruya at the new Basil Sellers Gallery and will culminate in long-weekend of events from 24-27 May 2019 (the Reconciliation Day long-weekend in Canberra). In between the traditional Art Trail of open studios, exhibitions and performances will be offered.
Begun by a small group of enthusiastic artists 13 years ago, the Festival has now grown to include over 100 events. Three back-to- back South Coast Regional Tourism Awards celebrate its success.
This year the Festival is being Co-Chaired by Eurobodalla locals, Robin Scott-Charlton and Di Jay. In announcing these dates, they are also calling for new, enthusiastic volunteers to join the organising team and for local and regional artists to start thinking about their events and submitting ideas.
“Putting the Festival together is such a buzz. We have a committed team of 6 already, and want more people to join us who are interested in getting behind the River of Art in 2019. We really need doers – people with ideas who can also deliver. We want to get an indigenous artist on board, a younger generation performer or artist, media and marketing savvy people, individual events planners and organisers, a new Secretary is needed too, and generally just arts people who love all that the Eurobodalla has to offer and who want to have some fun,” said Robin.
“We are already well underway for next year’s event, so we need new talent right now even though the Festival doesn’t kick off until the middle of May next year”, said Robin.
“Everyone’s skills are valuable and you can give as much or as little time as you wish,” Di Jay added. “Planning starts well before we call for formal expressions of interest in events. Many events run every year, but there are always new and stimulating additions.
“In a couple of months we will provide a short window for nominations, inviting artists and arts organisations for programmable events. As always, Open Studios from Durras to Bermagui will be a feature. So, artists and enthusiasts need to get ready; be thinking and planning, practicing, painting, writing, sculpting, making, singing and playing”, said Di.
“Nominations for the annual Festival Art Prize, valued at $2,000, will also be invited shortly”, she said.
River of Art has enjoyed huge support from its local business partners and the many shop fronts which showcase local artists’ work in their windows and on their floors as part of Art on Parade. Eurobodalla Shire Council, Destination NSW and local Chambers of Commerce have been tremendously strong supporters, as the Festival attracts locals and visitors alike to get out and about in the region enjoying the busking championships in Narooma, stunning local food and produce at markets in Moruya, and buying artworks and handmade goods at galleries and local retail outlets up and down the coast.
“The Festival makes a significant contribution to our economy and sense of community. Next year we have some continuing financial support from Eurobodalla Council and Destination NSW. We are also seeking new business partners to join our existing generous sponsors, so let us know if you are interested in sponsoring an event or the entire Festival,” said Di.
The 2018 Festival featured live music, film, textiles (including the sellout EFTAG fashion parade), visual arts and crafts, performance, poetry, storytelling and cultural celebrations.
“In 2019 the Festival weekend coincides with national reconciliation week and the new Canberra Reconciliation Day long-weekend. We would like indigenous art and artists to be a feature,” Di concluded.
Anyone with an interest in next year’s event, or in sponsorship can contact Festival organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can attend an event at 5:30 on 7 December at the Moruya Golf Club when Festival organisers will invite artists and community members to share their event ideas and plans.