STUNNING VISTAS: Barb Suttie and Marie-Rose France are getting ready for the Murwillumbah Art Trail.
STUNNING VISTAS: Barb Suttie and Marie-Rose France are getting ready for the Murwillumbah Art Trail. SCOTT POWICK

Art trail paints picture of the region’s hidden talents

THE Tweed is often regarded as one of the most creatively concentrated regions in Australia.

To see those artists join forces is a powerful thing.

Locals and visitors can discover the valley's creative jewels in treasure-hunt-like fashion during May's Murwillumbah Art Trail.

Curator Annie Long said the art trail responded to artists' calls for a collaborative showcase event, which was accessible to established and emerging talents alike. She said the event, which had its debut last year, also emerged from concerns the Murwillumbah CBD had been looking increasingly empty.

"There was a need for artists to have an opportunity to express themselves," Ms Long said.

"There were a lot of empty shops in Murwillumbah at the time... and I think art is a way we can bring culture and business to a town."

 

The Murwillumbah Art Trail’s 2016 locations.
The Murwillumbah Art Trail’s 2016 locations. Contributed

More than 50 artists will be involved in the trail, which includes existing and new galleries, pop-up shops, open studios and street art.

The Murwillumbah Experimental Film Shorts Exhibition will be part of the trail, and will include a Q&A with the film creators from 3pm on Saturday, May 28.

Painter Barb Suttie, who is involved in the art trail, said it was "exciting" for creatives from across a range of disciplines to come together for the event.

"I think there's about 12 locations, so it'll be within artists' studios, it'll be in public places, it'll be in galleries like the Caldera Art Gallery and it'll also be in pop-up shops, which is where we come in," Ms Suttie said.

"There's a number of pop-up shops, which is quite innovative and quite exciting because it enlivens the whole Murwillumbah town and that's my passion, that's where I became really excited about being a part of it.

"But it's also good to support the businesses because over the years, they've really supported artists."

 

Sculptor Jack Quilter will open his studio for the Murwillumbah Art Trail.
Sculptor Jack Quilter will open his studio for the Murwillumbah Art Trail. Contributed

She hoped the Art Trail would tap into the town's visitors, such as those often attracted by the Tweed Regional Gallery and Museum.

Marie-Rose France, from Uki, will combine her loves of sculpture and painting with the three-dimensional paintings she'll put on show for the art trail.

Murwillumbah-based glass mosaic artist Jenny Sayer will be on show with the Our Glass Collective in the Citadel building.

She said the styles on show ranged from her intricate pieces to slumped and fused creations and handmade glass beads.

"I think it's great," she said. "There's something for everyone."

Sculptor Jack Quilter, who specialises in metal-based structures, will be opening his Murwillumbah studio for the trail.

"The trail really shows the diversity and talent of the region," Mr Quilter said.

This year's Murwillumbah Art Trail will take place from May 26-31.

Visit themurwillumbaharttrail.com.


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