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Artists flock to Classic

RAPT: Arts Classic volunteers Robyn Baker, Carol Coffey and Lelli Brown busy unwrapping artworks.
RAPT: Arts Classic volunteers Robyn Baker, Carol Coffey and Lelli Brown busy unwrapping artworks. Digby Hildreth

ABOUT 200 local artists will be represented in the annual Arts Classic at the Byron Community Centre, which launches tomorrow night.

People wishing to have a sneak peek at the paintings, sculpture, photographs, works on paper and textile creations - about 340 in all - can call in to the centre from 10am. In the evening, the exhibition space will be full of people - the artists, art-lovers, the judging panel and those making some of the 11 awards on offer.

This year sees a new prize offered - by a member of the community - for textile art which, because it is usually 3D, will be a sub-category of the sculpture display, organiser Tess Cullen said.

"It's a good addition to the Classic," Ms Cullen said, "and we have seen some really interesting textile work come in."

The prize for photography has been doubled to $2000 this year, thanks to the family of Jonno Howell and Common Ground, who have contributed the money for a special prize in honour of the Byron-based photographer who died in Bali in early 2011.

Jonno's mother, Colleen, will travel to Byron to present the award.

Other awards offered include $2000 for the Byron Shire Council Acquisitive Prize, $1000 first prizes for each of three categories, $200 second prizes in all categories, $500 Youth Encouragement Award and a $500 People's Choice Award.

The Gallery Representation Award this year is from The Channon Gallery, and includes an exhibition of the winner's works.

The judges this year are Peter Mortimore, an artist and fine art teacher, Jude McBean, the director of the Grafton Regional Gallery, and Dean Bruton, a photography lecturer at Southern Cross University.

The artworks will remain on display until January 16, and everything is for sale, Ms Cullen said.

"Last year we sold 10% of the works shown, which put $20,000 into the pockets of local artists.

"I'm very proud that the Arts Classic helps to feed the community," she said.



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