Cairns audiences were treated to an award-winning selection of regional Queensland talent with the opening of Paint the Town at The Court House Gallery on 25 February, 2022.
Paint the Town, is the touring exhibition of 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards and showcases the works of 28 talented emerging and established artists from across regional Queensland.
Evoking the spirit of celebration, of all things jubilant, artists who entered the 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards were invited to respond to the question – how do you celebrate? The resulting exhibition is a uniquely hyper-local response to the public, or sometimes personal, ways and reasons we choose to celebrate.
Paint the Town, touring exhibition of the 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards, is an initiative Flying Arts Alliance in partnership with Museums & Galleries Queensland. This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland; and proudly sponsored by Holding Redlich.
Flying Arts extends our special thanks to event partner Cairns Regional Council and accommodation partner Accor and Mantra Esplanade, Cairns.
On the opening night, Flying Arts were joined by special delegates and representatives.
We were humbled by the attendance of Elders of the lands on which we gathered, Gudju Gudju , the Great Grandson of Yie-nie, who was the great leader of the Yidinji people, and Mrs Janette Singleton, a Yirrganydji woman from Yorkeys Knob and an Elder of the Yirrganydji people. Both Gudju Gudju and Mrs Singleton delivered Welcome to Country addresses which spoke to the history of Gimuy (Cairns).
Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young, PSM Governor of Queensland and patron of Flying Arts Alliance attended the Paint the Town launch, joined by her husband Professor Graeme Nimmo RFD. In her address, Her Excellency mentioned the enormous depth and breadth of talent that exists in our State’s rural and regional areas before officially launching the Paint the Town exhibition and presenting a certificate of vice-regal Patronage to Flying Arts. Her Excellency’s full address can be read here.
Ms Sarah Baron, co-Chair of Flying Arts gave a compelling speech on the importance of QRAA to Flying Arts, especially in its 50th year. Ms Barron provided an overview of this year’s QRAA – the theme, award winning artists, the judging panel, number of entrants and future tour locations over the next 3-years. This was delivered in reference to the history of the awards, its mission and purpose.
Mr Damien Bourke, Board Director of Flying Arts and Partner at Holding Redlich Queensland, the Queensland Regional Art Award’s principal partner, spoke to the work of Holding Redlich and the importance of their partnership with Flying Arts. Mr Bourke congratulated the exhibiting artists and introduced the ‘Art for Life’ and Spotlight Award winner Kym Barrett.
Award winner Kym Barrett in her speech made note of what it felt like to win the award, her experience navigating the challenges of recent years as a regional artist and what the prize has meant for her practice.
Flying Arts’ Executive Officer, Ms Kerryanne Farrer followed. Ms Farrer gave context to the partnership with Queensland Poetry with the QRAA Ekphrasis Challenge and read two winning poems responding to artworks, Kai Jenson’s Gateway (‘I was a textured trunk’) and Pri Victor’s after ‘My Country’. Read these poems and more here.
Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Councillor Bob Manning OAM was welcomed to the lectern and acknowledged the Yidinji and Yirrganyji peoples. Cr Manning acknowledged Chris Stannard as a judge for the 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards, and his fellow judges Dr Carol McGregor (present) and Jan Manton. Cr Manning thanked Chris Stannard for his work the team at The Court House Gallery. In his speech, Cr Manning acknowledged the vibrant and activated arts community in Cairns region, making note of his region’s desire to be the cultural capital of the North.
Flying Arts sincerely thanks our exhibiting artists, community members, supporters and sponsors who joined us in Cairns for the launch of Paint the Town.
Images: (top row, from left) Yidinji Elder, Gudju Gudju delivering a Welcome to Country; Yirrganydji Elder, Janette Singleton delivering a Welcome to Country; Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young, PSM Governor of Queensland officially opening the Queensland Regional Art Awards 2021 Paint the Town exhibition; Ms Sarah Barron, co-Chair of the Flying Arts Board speaking to the legacy of Mervyn Moriarty. (bottom row from left) Mr Damien Bourke, Board Director of Flying Arts and Partner at Holding Redlich Queensland speaking to the impact of Flying Arts; ‘Art for Life’ Award and Spotlight Award Winner Kym Barrett; Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Councillor Bob Manning OAM and Kerryanne Farrer, Executive Officer of Flying Arts Alliance Inc.
Flying Arts is pleased to be partnering for a second year with Queensland Poetry to deliver the QRAA Ekphrasis Challenge. Australian poets responded to the judges’ prize winners of the 2021 Queensland Regional Arts Awards. View Here
Paint the Town exhibition on show!
Artists in the making!
Young artists aged 12 – 18 (and a few, slightly older participants) tried their hand at a range of visual arts techniques during workshops run by exhibiting Paint the Town artists. Across Saturday and Sunday, aspiring artists learnt stamp making, collage and watercolour under the expert guidance of artists Darren Blackman, Bianca Tainsh and Libby Derham.
These workshops were provided by Flying Arts as part of Our Perfect New World project, designed to support and encourage young people to engage in the visual arts in regional Queensland centres.
This project was supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
Wonderous Watercolour with Libby Derham
Rewilding the Urban Landscape with Bianca Tainsh
Printmaking with Stamps with Darren Blackman
All photographs by The Social Impact, Cairns.