King Valley Art event celebrates 20 years

May 30, 2017 | Art and Culture, King Valley

ART SPECTACULAR: More than 400 entries are expected for the 20th anniversary of the King Valley Art Show, which will hold its gala opening on June 9. PHOTO: Marc Bongers, provided by King Valley Art Show

IT’S time to celebrate, as the King Valley Art Show prepares to hold its 20th anniversary show on the 2017 Queen’s Birthday weekend.

The show began in 1996 when a group of King Valley business people met at the local pub and decided to form a tourism group with the aim of promoting the region as a tourist destination.

The following year they held their first event in the modest surrounds of the Whitfield Uniting Church offering prizes totalling just over $2000.

Now the show is a major tourism attraction for the region, drawing over 800 visitors to the King Valley during its three day run in June.

With a prize pool of $18 750 including a grand prize of $3000 sponsored by Dal Zotto Wines, this year’s show is expected to attract more than 400 entries from both amateur and major artists.

King Valley Art Show president Anita Laurence says the event had grown considerably over the last two decades, thanks to the unwavering support of the community and generous sponsors.

Ms Laurence says major developments included a boost in sponsorship, the establishment of its Friends of the Art Show sponsorship group, and moving into bigger premises at the King Valley Cucina, now the home of King River Brewing.

“It’s also thanks to the success of the show over the years that we’ve been able to establish a grant program which supports other events and initiatives held throughout the year that enrich the King Valley’s arts culture and benefit the community,” she says.

“As the reputation of the show has grown, so has the calibre of entries and we’re thrilled to be able to give artists the opportunity to show their work to a wider audience, and be rewarded for it.”

Visitors can expect to see another spectacular display featuring a wide variety of styles and mediums, from landscapes, portraits and still life, to watercolours, prints and abstract works, with most available to purchase at affordable prices.

To celebrate its 20th year, the show looks forward to welcoming renowned artist, regular entrant and the event’s co-founder Jim van Geet as this year’s judge, as well as offering an additional 10 “highly commended” prizes of $200 each.

The King Valley Art Show will be held from June 9 to June 12 at King River Brewing, opening to the public from 10am until 5pm from Saturday until Monday with entry $3 for adults. More information is available via this link.