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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

BACCI celebrates 20 years with Spring

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Celebrating spring, artists Mary Richards, who is also the group president, and Angela Parr who won the ‘People’s Choice’ award. Photo Tree Faerie.

Formed in 1998, Ballina Arts and Crafts Incorporated (BACCI) wanted to promote a friendly meeting place for artists and craftpersons from Ballina and the surrounding districts.

Twenty years later the group is still providing a wonderful space for local artists, and to commemorate the occasion, they hosted an exhibition on the weekend combining an open art competition and their 20th year celebrations.

Artist Kim Toft with two of her silk painting pieces.

BACCI president Mary Richards said the work in the show was from members. ‘We currently have a membership of around 50 with an age range from 14-years-old right up to 80 and a lot in the middle.

‘They all do different styles of art. We have oils, acrylic, water colour and pen and ink artists, then we have all the crafts as well – we have woodwork and silk paining and jewellery making and pottery – even mini gardens! One artist does woven pictures.’

Over 100 pieces were on display at the show at the Masonic Centre in Cherry Street Ballina.

Mary said the weekend was very successful with two new exhibition innovations proving to be delightful additions to the event. For the first time the BACCI show had a new section in the show. ‘This time we opened the art competition for non-members,’ said Mary. ‘A children’s section up to 12 years, then a 13 to 18 section and then an open section with 30 pieces all up submitted.’

The other addition was a Devonshire tea which was universally appreciated.

BACCI had an opening for the show on Friday, with about 200 guests, at which the winners were awarded their prizes. About 200 more art lovers visited over the weekend.

Angela Parr’s ‘Arnhem Girl’ won the ‘People’s Choice’ award, and was one of her first forays into human portraiture.

At the end of the weekend the ‘People’s Choice’ votes were tallied and the winning artwork was ‘Arnhem Girl’, a portrait by Angela Parr.

BACCI is a not-for-profit organisation and has at least two major exhibitions each year – including a month at the North Coast Regional Gallery – where members have the opportunity to display and sell their work. They are also a charitable organization and the exhibitions give them the opportunity to raise funds for needy community groups. The spring exhibition raised funds for the local Motor Neurone Disease group.

Mary says that having an exhibition is great. ‘It’s important for the members. It’s okay having meetings but you’ve got to have an outlet so they can show their work and socialise. These shows bring in new members to the group every time.

‘It’s also important for the community. Not everyone likes football or television. It’s nice to have somewhere else to go.

BACCI meets on the first Monday of every month. For more information visit: www.bacci.com.au


Photos Tree Faerie


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  1. Ballina Arts and Crafts incorporated are a hearty lot of artists putting paint here and there on the canvas but nothing like a writer who loves to make the ink blot.
    Formed in 1998 it has been the fate of BACCI to brush up and brush down the many grassy scenes around the Ballina area and any other area out the back of town.
    And then of course there is the water colour, the colour of the Pacific blue and the river runs and runs without any shoes like children running splashing like sister and brother.
    There in a group they are painting, dabbing, stroking, spotting the paint from sight in and around within a frame this friendly lot gain tips and quippy chips of information of how to do it right.


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