River of Art’s 2018 Art Prize showcases South Coast talent

Winners of the esteemed River of Art 2018 Art Prize exhibition were announced Thursday night 17 May at the festival’s opening ceremony at the SoArt Gallery in Narooma.

Indira Carmichael – local artist and creative arts coordinator – was awarded the $2000 first prize for Midas’ daughter, a portrait in ink and pencil on paper. Second prize went to Mike Barnard for Birthing and third prize was presented to Bethany Thurtell for Introspective.

Indira Carmichael
Indira Carmichael in front of her winning artwork


2018 Youth Art Prize – finalists announced

The River of Art Youth Prize was judged during Youth Week 13-19 April.

The finalists are: Junior: Shelby Henderson, Lilli Daly, Jade Borg and Jordan Hatcher.  Senior: Madeleine Forner, Lily Jackson, Thor Weston and Jayden Pitt.


Tickets now sold out for the 2018 Wearable Art Fashion Parade

Tickets are now sold out for the show-stopping extravaganza produced by the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Artists Group for the River of Art festival.

This year’s theme “Folklore and Fantasy” promises to present a parade of enchanting creations imbuing old world traditions with a contemporary edge. (more…)

River of Art 2018 ART PRIZE – Entries Open

The River of Art 2018 Art Prize invites entries for this exciting regional competition. The prize is open to all artists living on the NSW South Coast, from Milton to the Victorian border.

A first prize of $2000 will be awarded to the artist of the winning work, 2nd place will be awarded $250, and 3rd place $100. (more…)


In 2018, the River of Art Festival presents an opportunity for artists to submit works for a new exhibition: Land of Many Waters. This theme pays tribute to the meaning of Eurobodalla, which is derived from an Aboriginal (Yuin nation) word.

Artists are invited to enter works developed in response to this theme. The exhibition is open to all artists living on the NSW South Coast, from Milton to the Victorian border. (more…)

Calling artists to join the 2018 River of Art Festival

River of Art seeks expressions of interest from artists, performers and community groups to become part of the 2018 festival.

We’re calling out to local and visiting artists across all art forms. The River of Art team is especially interested in providing a springboard for early career artists, Indigenous artists and young performers. (more…)

It’s all home made at Moruya Museum

In this era of everything disposable, the Moruya Museum opens it’s doors to showcase household items handmade to last through necessity.

Curator Brian Harris said the museum would present items of bush furniture, home-made clothes, farm tools and exquisite laces and jewelry in the Everything Hand Made exhibition, a part of the River of Art festival.

“Another intriguing feature of the exhibition will be our collection of trench art with objects such as sweetheart brooches and salad servers made by soldiers during the world wars,” Mr Harris said.

He said festival goers should be sure to visit for the exhibitions opening and afternoon tea at 2pm.

“We will be selling old-fashioned jams, relishes and pickles – look out for Maud Keating’s mustard pickles, Margaret Kirby’s mint jelly and Mrs Murphy’s plum chutney,” Mr Harris said.

Shire ready to ‘go live’ at arts festival

Musica Viva has described them as ‘Australia’s most internationally successful piano trio’ and shire residents can see the Streeton Trio play live as a part of the River of Art’s line up of live acts.

The Streeton Trio will perform in Batehaven, on May 28, and festival chair Sue Barford said they were “just one highlight in a fabulous selection of music, theatre, dance and live performances”.

“In Batemans Bay, young performers, edgy storytellers, and dancers will be taking over the esplanade for Liquid Art,” Ms Barford said. (more…)

Creative Arts Batemans Bay to hold auction

While many artists are opening their studios and holding exhibitions during the River of Art, members of Creative Arts Batemans Bay Inc (CABBI) have come up with an innovative idea to celebrate.

CABBI members, in conjunction with G.J. Gardner Homes, are launching the G.J. Gardner Art Space but with a twist. In addition to holding an exhibition of more than 24 paintings along with sculpture, they are holding an art auction.

The public are invited to attend the opening and cocktail party which starts at 6pm on Sunday, May 21, at the GJ Gardner Display home on the Old Princes Highway at Batemans Bay.

Phil Marley will be the auctioneer on the night. The auction of artwork means the public will have access to affordable paintings.

“I am very grateful to Tony and Carol Ferrante, directors of G.J. Gardner Homes for their ongoing support and encouragement,” president of CABBI, Adrienne Conway, said.

“Not only are they major sponsors for our annual January Art Show, they have been very generous in providing a beautiful setting for our auction and art exhibition.” While the auction is only on Sunday evening, the exhibition will remain on display for three months.

“It should be a really fun night,” Adrienne said. “The artists from CABBI have set a price on their artwork that is well below the recommended retail value of that item.” Artwork can be viewed three days prior to the auction.

Vocal workshop reveals world sounds

The Deep River Choir has been delighting audiences in the Eurobodalla for more than six years with their rich blend of dynamic African rhythms and harmonies together with songs of peace.

As part of the upcoming River of Art festival, Deep River Choir’s musical director, Amanda Grahame, will conduct a free one-hour singing workshop on Saturday, May 20 at 11am at Memorial RSL Hall, Page Street, Moruya.

Ms Grahame said participants would learn “beautiful, simple songs from around the world”.

The choir will hold a free concert after the workshop at 12 noon, featuring African dance with percussion and drums.


Sisters smock up for Youth Art Prize

Madeline and Brodie Forner have paint brushes in hand as they prepare for the River of Art Youth Prize. The sisters plan to enter two paintings each.

Fourteen-year-old Madeline said she has already completed one piece, featuring a boat on the estuary. Madeline Forner has been a winner at the Eurobodalla show for the last five years.

“Every morning I get up really early to catch the bus to Carroll College, and I see the boats on the water. I really wanted to paint that,” Madeline said.

The sisters are old hands at art shows: Madeline has been her age-group winner at the Eurobodalla show for the last five years and Brodie for the last four.

For the River of Art festival, Madeline isn’t restricting herself to the youth competition, “I have two paintings in the main Art Prize competition as well”.

Nine year old Brodie is painting an after-dark landscape. “The middle of the night, very dark, with the wind blowing in the trees,” Brodie said.

A new prize this year, the River of Art Youth Prize was set up to encourage young people to pursue their love of art, with $500 in prizes.

River of Art spokesman Noal Annabel said entries would be exhibited in the old Dick Smith store. “

To encourage as many entries as possible we have waived the requirement the work be recent or not a previous award winner,” Mr Annabel said. “This means young artists can submit their best works.”

River of Art ready to bust its banks in Moruya

Flags are up and flying in Moruya as River of Art gets set to light up the South Coast for ten days of festival fun from May 19 to 28.

Festival Chair Sue Barford said there was a lot to see in and around Moruya over the ten days of the festival and advised to “check out the program and  create your own art trail”.

For the festival launch, River of Art teams up with the Eurobodalla Shire Council for the opening of a water-themed Art20 exhibition in Bodalla, with free performances from the Djaadjawan Dancers, Clive Dorien and Barny Barnbrook. Everyone is invited to Moruya for the opening night party, with entertainment provided by Ironic Circus and the Paul Johnston Duo. (more…)

River ready to flow

Flags are up and flying along the South Coast from Batemans Bay to Bermagui as River of Art gets set to launch a vibrant 10-day arts festival on River of Art.

Festival Chair Sue Barford said Batemans Bay had embraced the festival this year, with several debut events and new performances.

“Check out the program and create your own art trail,” was her advice.

“Make a day of it browsing the many exhibitions and open studios from Batemans Bay through Lilli Pilli, Malua Bay, Mossy Point and Mogo to Moruya”.

Throughout the festival, the Esplanade in Batemans Bay will light up with a new Liquid Art art space presenting visual arts, dance, live music, edgy storytelling and interactive performances. Liquid Art opens on Saturday, May 20, with a Creative Makers’ Group Exhibition of photography, watercolours, paintings, pastel drawings, glassworks and jewellery.

Dance at the Liquid Art launch party to The Awesome!

On Sunday, May 21, come along to Speakers Corner or hit the dancefloor with a free Zumba workshop where you can learn a variety of different Latin American and International dance styles.

Soak up the tribal sounds and energy of Djembe Forte, a drum and dance group who perform traditional rhythms from West Africa.

Book soon to see Kirsty Webeck, one of Australia’s hottest new comedians, playing live at South Tribe on May 27.

For something special, don’t miss the classical performance in Batehaven by The Streeton Trio – described by Musica Viva as ‘Australia’s most internationally successful piano trio.

Children and the young at heart are well catered with Real Live Faery Stories and Noisy Nonna – a fun-filled show around cooking, a kitchen band and making music with utensil instruments.

South Durras has a fascinating exhibition on the spectre of fire in our midst – Oh Innocent Flame!

Back in Batemans, a new Youth Art Prize will be display at the River of Art Gallery in Bridge Plaza.

River of Art also showcases Indigenous artworks and activities inspired by country and culture. Sign up for Walbanga Minga Dungaarn and explore local bush tucker, traditional hunting techniques, weaving and stories. In Batemans Bay, see the possum cloak decorated by the local community in creative workshops led by Aunty Loretta Parsley. In Mogo, visit the Koori Women’s Art Exhibition.

River of Art offers opportunities to enjoy and take home unique artworks and collectables. Choose from paintings, pastels and photography. Browse fine woodworks, handmade jewellery, glass creations, mosaics, bespoke hats, textiles and handmade clothing.

Simes sets sail for River of Art 2017

Woodworker Eric Simes builds boats; not to make his living but for his own amusement.

“I have built a dozen boats … all of my own design,” Mr Simes said. One of those 12 was the centre-piece at the Splinters Exhibition during the River of Art festival a few years back.

“I was in Hobart one year for the wooden boat show, and the River of Art lady rang me to say ‘why not put a boat in the show?’,” Mr Simes said. (more…)

Narooma counts down to the River of Art

Gearing up for the 2017 River of Art Festival are Sandra Doyle from the Narooma Busking Competition, Lynn Griffiths from the River of Art, Patrice Atkins from Euro Tiles and Bathrooms, River of Art chairperson Sue Barford and Anne Colquitt from Hat Savvy.

Local artists and performers are busy gearing up to present an exciting line-up in Narooma during the River of Art Festival from 19-28 May.

Finalists in the prestigious River of Art 2017 Prize Exhibition will be on show at the SoArt Gallery in Narooma from 18-30 May. Arts lovers are invited to join the judges and talented artists for the opening award presentation on Monday, 22 May.

Art on Parade is always at the heart of River of Art. This is where artists partner with local businesses, cafes and shopfronts to present their works for sale. (more…)

Flights of fancy at wearable art parade

The Eurobodalla Fibre and Textiles Artists Group (EFTAG) is preparing to present another showstopping extravaganza as part of the River of Art showcase.

EFTAG has members from right across the region, including some living in Bega, Tathra, Quaama, Candelo and Bermagui. Members have been busy for months creating outfits for this annual event. It’s a time when many can really let their imagination take full flight.

There will be a variety of garments from beautifully handmade everyday wear through ‘quirky’ to ‘way out’ costumes. It promises to be a fun time.

A showcase of the creations will take place on Sunday, May 21, from 4pm at St Mary’s Performing Arts Centre in Moruya.

There are some exciting changes from previous years’ events – and some surprises. The new time and venue come with a new format – Champagne, Canapes & Catwalk! Tickets are now on sale and selling fast! Booking early is recommended as tickets usually sell out well before the booking deadline, which is May 14.

Artists’ debut exhibition at River of Art

Artist Sally Veer (pictured seated above with Bound to Earth cafe owner Khobi Graham) has just returned to the Far South Coast and will make her artistic debut with an exhibition that’s part of the “Art on Parade” program in the 2017 River of Art festival.

Her work, inspired by memories of growing up on the coast, will be on display at the Bound to Earth cafe in Narooma from May 19, when the festival kicks off with shops and businesses from Durras to Bermagui displaying local art as part of the festival.

Ms Veer grew up in the Quaama Brogo area before heading off to the city as a 17-year-old girl to attend the University of Technology Sydney where she obtained a Bachelor in Design degree, focusing on fabrics and textiles.

She landed a great job working for fashion designer Lee Mathews and helped build up her women’s fashion label over seven years.

After starting out working on various fashion lines, she progressed to brand management overseeing the whole operation and making sure it fit in with Lee Mathew’s vision.

But then she and her partner 16 months ago had their first child, Mali, and decided to move back to where she grew up to start a new life in the country. She said she wanted her daughter to have the same childhood experiences that she did.

“I loved growing up here and we spent a lot of time camping at Mimosa Rocks National Park,” Ms Veer said. “Mum worked on Dalmeny so we would be on the beaches at Narooma all the time.”

They have now bought a little house in Narooma and real estate was another reason for their move, and as we all know entering the housing market in Sydney is near impossible for young people.

“We couldn’t afford a house in Sydney and so many of our friends are now moving back to where they grew up with their young families,” she said. “But then you sit back and think, what are we going to do for a job.”

Ms Veer hopes her first artistic exhibition in the River of Art will be a springboard to a new career in art on the South Coast, although she still has some plans to do overseas textile sourcing trips for Lee Mathews.

“I wanted to do the River of Art exhibition as a way of getting back into creativity and have been doing lots of painting and sewing,” she said. “I am hoping to use the exhibition as a launching pad to start producing fabric from my drawings, combining art and fashion.”

Her long-term goal is to open an open, collaborative studio where she and fellow local artists can start creating and showcasing local talent and the area’s natural beauty.

“I’d love to have a shop front eventually and I like the idea of using local products and collaborating with local artists to work on things that showcase the area,” she said.

Her exhibition in the River of Art will be called “Returning South” and will feature a mix of watercolor and acrylic paintings and postcards, as well as some hand-stitched creations.

“The running thread through the exhibition will be the stitched line because that is my expertise and where my knowledge is,” she said.

Her inspiration are her childhood memories of the rock formations and landscapes of the coast, with lots of earthy tones, ochre colours, deep blues and charcoals. She has resisted painting from photographs, because she said she wanted her work to be spontaneous, coming from her memories.

She will donate part of any profits from the sale of her work to the South Coast branch of the Australian Seabird Rescue organisation, as she is friends with a couple of volunteers at Bermagui. She recently went to check on a few little penguins being nursed back to health for release at Montague Island.

She is also pleased to have been paired with fellow young, female entrepreneur Khobi Graham and her Narooma cafe Bound to Earth, which also has a focus on locally produced food and drink.

Ms Graham is equally excited to have “Returning South” exhibition coming to her cafe in Midtown Narooma and plans to rearrange some of her shelving to make room for 15 larger works as well as multiple smaller postcard-style drawings.

The pair plan to have an opening celebration at the cafe on Saturday, May 20 at 10am.

Story courtesy of The Narooma News, 28 April 2017.

River of Art launches a bumper festival program for 2017

A bumper 2017 program is now out for the River of Art festival, showcasing a feast of arts to delight, inspire and entertain.

Running over ten days from 19 to 28 May, the festival dishes up more than 130 arts treats along the South Coast, all the way from Durras to Bermagui.

Whatever your taste, there’s so much to choose from in this exciting menu of visual arts, live music, theatrical performances, creative workshops and cultural activities.

Kicking off the festival on Friday 19 May, River of Art teams up with the Eurobodalla Shire Council for a water-themed exhibition in Bodalla. Everyone is then invited to party on at the opening celebration in Moruya accompanied by free music and entertainment.

Unmissable festival favourite, Wearable Art, is back again in Moruya on 21 May. This year’s catwalk extravaganza – presented by the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Artists Group – is bound to ruffle a few feathers as artists interpret their 2017 theme, Flights of Fancy.

The Australian National Busking Championships makes a new addition to the festival lineup on Saturday 27 May in Narooma. Hosted by Rotary, this is a fabulous chance to enjoy eclectic music, roving performers and the best of Australian busking. Acclaimed classical crossover band, The String Family, will be performing several times during the event.

There’s another debut attraction in Batemans Bay, with Liquid Art bringing together a fluid lineup of visionary artists, young performers, interactive experiences, dance and edgy storytelling. Book soon to see one of Australia’s hottest new comedians, Kirsty Webeck.

River of Art is also proud to partner with Four Winds, welcoming music lovers to venture just south of Bermagui on 27 May to enjoy the Aurelia Quartet performing Haydn and Schumann.

The prestigious River of Art 2017 Art Prize exhibition will be on show at the SoArt Gallery in Narooma from 22 May. Submissions close 26 April, so there’s still time for artists to enter.

River of Art celebrates the creative talents that thrive in this land of many waters. With a record number of open studios and exhibitions, the 2017 festival program is ripe with invitations to meet our talented local artists and discover what inspires them.

The full festival program is now out at Visitor Information Centres, galleries and selected shopfronts on the South Coast.

Or check it out online. Follow us on Facebook for festival updates and latest news.

Start to plan your festival visit and decide what artists and performers are on your must-see list in May. Sign up soon for workshops and book ahead for River of Art’s ticketed events.

Eurobodalla River of Art Wraps Up on a High Note

The 2016 Eurobodalla River of Art Festival celebrated its finale in style on Sunday 29 May, with locals, volunteers and visitors partying in Narooma to the sounds of The Somedays.

Having been named the Gold Winner for NSW Tourism Awards in 2015, this year’s 10-day program featured over one hundred events that attracted more festival visitors than ever to our spectacular South Coast.

Festival chair Sue Barford said, “Performances, community events, galleries and open studios from Durras to Wallaga Lake reported plenty of guests from regional NSW, Canberra, Sydney and further afield.”

Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the 2016 Eurobodalla River of Art is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, as part of its Regional Flagship Events Program.

“Events such as the Eurobodalla River of Art play an important role for tourism in Regional NSW, attracting visitors and helping boost local economies and I congratulate Sue Barford and her team on delivering another fantastic event for our region,” Mr Constance said.

As usual, the fabulous Wearable Art Fashion Parade presented by the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textiles Group, sold out early with all 140 tickets snapped up. And no wonder!

Themed Queen of the Desert, this year’s parade in Moruya showcased the exceptional talent of our local designers and artisans.

On the musical front, blues legends Phil Wiggins and Dom Turner also played a sold-out performance at the historic Kinema in Narooma.

Other crowd-pleasers included the great line-up of local talent at the Family Open Day in Batemans Bay, the ‘meet the makers’ Creators Bazaar in Moruya, a hugely popular Battlebird concert in Narooma, and a provocative Poetry Slam held at Moruya.

Sue Barford said, “The real stars of the festival were our innovative local artists, whose eclectic works were on display in open studios and galleries, local shops, cafes and businesses right along the Eurobodalla coast.”

The Art on the Waterways project, which was one of the festival newcomers, attracted lots of online interest and some wonderful photographs of ephemeral beach sculptures. View the Instagram pics at #eroa2016.

Meanwhile, the SoArt Gallery in Narooma presented the finalists in the 2016 Eurobodalla River of Art Prize, including Keedah Throssell’s winning artwork titled ‘Invasion Day’.

Sue Barford reminds everyone, “Eurobodalla River of Art returns next year. So mark the dates19 to 28 May 2017 in your diaries now!

“As ever, the festival is made possible thanks to the efforts of a committed group of volunteers, along with all our artists and generous support from Destination NSW, the Eurobodalla Shire Council and local business sponsors.”

Wearable Art – just WOW!

Each year the festival’s Wearable Art Fashion Parade, presented by the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Artists Group (EFTAG), amazes the audience with the exceptional talent of the designers and artisans. Last evening was no different as the Queen of the Desert theme was pushed to the extreme with a runway full of extraordinary outfits.

Congratulations to everyone involved on such a successful night. Here’s just a taste of what was happening in the backroom – with more photos to come in the near future.