Glen Innes Community Centre Art Competition drew massive interest

Community Centre co-ordinator Brenda Beauchamp was blown away by the interest in their first ever art competition.
Community Centre co-ordinator Brenda Beauchamp was blown away by the interest in their first ever art competition.

Featuring artists from age 8 to age 70, the Glen Innes Community Centre was blown away by the level of interest in their first art competition.

The event, which culminated in the 'Arty Party' judging event on Friday August 9, was the brainchild of the centre's newest employee, Aboriginal artist Nick Levy.

If the assistant coordinator had not came up with the idea probably nobody would have, said co-ordinator Brenda Beauchamp. Nick Levy is a contemporary Indigenous painter whose work has been hung in Japan, the UK and at Brisbane's state library of Queensland. He teamed up with legendary Glen Innes based artist Lloyd Hornsby for that last one.

She was blown away by how many Glen Innes residents and their kids wanted to show off their painting and drawing skills.

"The art competition just took off - we had 50 entries!

"One of the artists said that she's been doing art for a long time but she's never entered her art anywhere, not even to the show.

"And I think she had a second and a third (prize)."

Their youngest artist was just 8, with the oldest in his 70s.

Brenda Beauchamp said the community centre and its hall is a comfortable and low-stress opportunity to give it a first try.

"She knows the centre, so she was really happy to enter into something where she felt comfortable.

"And I think that's for a lot of the students too. I think next year they'll come back, a lot of those students that have got promising art."

Nonetheless it was a competitive process, with valuable prizes on offer.

"We chose to offer an non indigenous and an indigenous (section) in each category," said Ms Beauchamp.

"In a lot of cases, Aboriginal painting is beatiful in its own right but it's judged differently to say picking daisies in a field or whatever.

"We wanted to recognise that and therefore reward people that were of Aboriginal identity."

If a non-Indigenous person won a section, judges would look for an Indigenous winner for their own section.

She said over 60 people turned out for the event.