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Byron Shire
October 24, 2021

The Arty Party launches the Murwillumbah Art Trail

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Lilith Rochas, Leander Collins, Suzie Bourke, Barb Suttie, Marie-France Rose, Jack Quilter, Toni Zuschke, Greg Jorss and Maya Krasna. Photo Jeff ‘Party’ Dawson.

If it is art you are interested in then it is time to open your diary and book in the date for the Murwillumbah Art Trail (MAT) that takes place between May 18 and 27 this year.

With the theme ‘Moving on’ the MAT is ‘is shaping up to be the most ambitious community arts festival Murwillumbah has seen,’ said marketing manager Pat Miller.

A big part of what MAT is trying to achieve is bringing economic vitality to Murwillumbah and it has grown since its inception ‘that ran on the cost of an oily rag’ and is now a key part of the culture and dynamic of Murwillumbah commented sponsorship manager Suzi Bourke.

‘Last year there was a big impact on the town with the floods. Our artistic director Dev Lengiel went and caught up with local sculptor Jack Quilter who had his factory wipped out in the floods and these conversations lead to the idea of “moving on” as the theme for this years Murwillumbah Art Trail,’ said Suzi.

‘There have been a number of businesses who have not recovered from the flood and many others that are still struggling. So  the idea of moving on with life, health, how the river moves on – how it brings floods that can destroy as well as build – were really the ideas that we are reflecting in the theme.

‘This was combined with an Art Deco theme taking inspiration from some of the beautiful buildings that are still left in Murwillumbah.’

Leanding an international flare to this years MAT they are also excited to announce that there will be five Canadian artists from Quebec participating in this years event with workshops, a painting competition and other activities.

‘This gives it the start of an international connection and begins to really turn Murwillumbah into a great destination,’ continued Suzi.

On Wednesday Member for Lismore Thomas George announced a $20,000 grant to help promote the event.

These are ‘Funds to market this event to a wider audience and bring people to Murwillumbah not just for the day but overnight or for the weekend is what starts to have a ripple effect across the whole city. Every new visitors helps our motels and hotels, clubs, pubs, restaurant, cafes and the retail sector,’ said Mr George.

The Arty Party

Raising funds to help sponsor the event is the The Arty Party on March 3. This night of art performance, art auction and comedy features a silent art auction with works donated by some renowned artists. And some terrible ones.

Pat Miller quipped ‘Andy Warhol once said “art is what you can get away with”.’

‘It’s all about the pitch. If you are a really good artist and donate a painting, fantastic, thank you, MAT18 benefits. If you can jazz up a kid’s finger painting in a frame and flog it off as art, MAT18 benefits – to the extent you can get away with it. Tricky. It’s about not taking yourself (or ourselves) too seriously.

‘MAT18 is appealing for auction items. Artist Graeme Stevenson of ‘Colour in Your Life’ has donated the first painting, a serious one.

For more information check out the Murwiullumbah Art Trail website

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