Preparations are nearing completion for the 44th Taree Open Art Exhibition, to be held at the Taree High School Hall from July 9 to 17.
The official opening is Saturday, July 9 from 1.30 - 3.30pm, with MidCoast Council mayor, Claire Pontin officially opening the exhibition. On each subsequent day the exhibition will be open from 9am to 4pm.
Well known artist and educator Trevor Weekes is judging the show, while the People's Choice Award will be selected by the public.
This year's show has received 371 entries, from artists both local and as far away as Newcastle, Sydney, and even Queensland.
When asked about the health of the local art community, Taree Artists Inc president, Irene Lines, was overwhelming in her praise.
"You've just got to look at the artwork. The amount of talent," Irene said. "There's quite a few artists who have already been published in books.
"There's something in the water here. We've certainly got some talent hanging around."
The exhibition will feature an array of styles and mediums, including watercolour, oil, mixed media, acrylic, pastel, and drawing as well as 3D works with sculpture.
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Beyond the exhibition, Taree Artists Inc is committed to developing art and artists within the region, a subject Irene is passionate about.
"It gives people some sort of community recognition and a feeling of 'I could do that'.
"As Taree artists we're trying to get more involvement in the community and so we started an initiative at the St John's Church Hall. We have social painting there every first and third Saturday of the month, and we're trying to get more people involved," Irene said.
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