Close to two decades ago local artist Alba Conti came up with a crazy idea to borrow a concept she’d seen elsewhere to mount an art exhibition in a shed. Come this May Day weekend the 17th installation of A Case of Art in Mill takes place, against all odds.
She must have had vision because for 51 weeks of the year the old case-manufacturing mill in Curr Rd Ballandean has barely a wall to its name. Alba thought the shed just lent itself to the endeavour, and approached owner Pedro Curr who was happy to comply, but with some trepidation as he also thought the idea was far-fetched.
And what does Mrs Conti now think of the ongoing popularity of the annual exhibition of local art?
“Bloody amazing,” she said.
“There were 320 people at the exhibition opening last year, and we receive amazing local support, both in attendance and purchasing.”
She along with fellow organisers Sue Jurd and Michael Pieper feel it’s the homely atmosphere of the setting that attracts those who wouldn’t normally patronise an art gallery. The crew have been busy putting up walls and making the shed weatherproof in the lead-up to the exhibition, to ensure that everyone receives a warm welcome regardless of the outside conditions.
Once people tear themselves away from the fire pit, new works included in this year’s roster of 17 local artists include blown-glass pieces by renowned artist Aaron Micallef, who has exhibited across the country but is exhibiting for the first time here.
Graham Schreiber is back after a long absenbce, having now added the 2016 Darcy Doyle Award for Landscapes to his resume.
Rebecca Newman has recently returned to live in Tetnerfiled and she will be exhibiting a variety of temporary works, while Emma Fraguas’s work will be on offer after a sell-out showing at the Toowoomba Grammar Art Show.
Norm Clayton is also participating for the first time, with a selection of his works.
“He’s a prolific artist in oils and acrylics, mostly landscapes,” Mrs Jurd said.
Linda Clutterbuck is also a first-time participant, with her pen-and-wash floral artworks.
A Case of Art in the Mill's Sue Jurd explains why you should get along to this year's exhibition. pic.twitter.com/NbSVgIflSO— Donna Ward (@TentStarJourno) April 20, 2017
In addition to the new artists, popular local names like Maggie Brockie, Adrian Hobba, Margaret Oban Dowe, Bent and Eva Rasmussen, Helen Turrisi and Albert Verschuuren will also have pieces on display, in addition to those of the aforementioned organisers.
“There will be a lot of diversity in this year’s exhibition, particularly lots of functional 3D works,” Mrs Jurd said.
With the Queensland May Day holiday falling early this year, the exhibition’s opening night is Friday, April 28 from 7pm. The exhibition is then open Saturday and Sunday from 9am until late, and on Monday from 9am to 4pm.