If you have a child or grandchild who has attended Pacific Palms Public School during the past 26 years, chances are they have benefitted from the hard work of Pacific Palms Art Festival committee members.
Since the inaugural art show in 1993, Pacific Palms Art Festival has donated tens of thousands of dollars towards creative arts programs to the small public school opposite Boomerang Beach.
The event was founded by the school's former principal, Ken Pares to inspire and educate students, while also creating an opportunity for the community to come together.
One student who took that inspiration to the next level was Rachel Brassey.
Now known as Rachel Reading, Rachel is an emerging artist.
"Artistic encouragement came early via my creative family and the Pacific Palms Art Festival," Rachel said.
"Throughout my school years the festival enabled me to win awards and gain the confidence to continue with my artistic endeavours."
Rachel encourages all residents of the Great Lakes region to get behind the cultural event.
"Isolated regional communities don't have the same exposure to the arts as bigger centres and this is why it's vitally important local residents and artists continue to support Pacific Palms Art Festival," she said.
Festival president, Cath Bennett said the event had grown from strength to strength.
"Last year's festival was a great success with a total of 138 entries contributed by 62 artists. This year is gearing up to be even bigger," Ms Bennett said.
The festival kicks off with a night of fun on Friday, June 7.
Local food delicacies and wine have been provided by local sponsors, Kingfisher Cafe, Aberdeen and Brokenwood Wines. Nadine the Cake Queen will be providing dessert.
Opening night gives the first glimpse of artworks, announcement of the winners and provides the first opportunity to purchase original artworks on display.
Last year's major prize winner, Christine Foletti, was a first time exhibitor who has also provided this year's raffle prize Xanthorrhoea.
Christine creates exquisite 3D objects and artworks from waste rubber, flip flops, aluminium cans and driftwood washed up on Australian beaches.
The judge for the June exhibition is Steven Alderton, director and CEO of the National Art School NSW.
Mr Alderton brings 25 years expertise and experience in visual arts and education to the exhibition and opening night.
The weekend before the main exhibition is the annual Youth Art Exhibition which is an opportunity for school-aged children to have their work displayed in a public exhibition.
"It's a vibrant and fun weekend showcasing our budding local and regional artists and compliments the main exhibition on the following long weekend," Ms Bennett said.
Finalists from the Youth Art Exhibition will have their work displayed at the main exhibition.
Tickets to opening night are available from the new Pacific Palms Art Festival website at palmsartfestival.org.au
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