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Artists young and old invited to help celebrate Art in the Porongurup’s 20th anniversary

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Art in the Porongurup 2021 winner 'Bus Stop' by George Corke.
Camera IconArt in the Porongurup 2021 winner 'Bus Stop' by George Corke. Credit: Supplied

Art in the Porongurup will return for its 20th sculpture exhibition among the trees this month, with organisers on the lookout for creations from experienced and emerging artists to join the open-air gallery.

The free exhibition will run from September 24 to October 2 around the grounds of the Porongurup Hall in conjunction with the annual Southern Art and Craft Trail, after it was postponed in April due to COVID-19.

This year will mark two decades of the community-driven exhibition — organised by conservation group Friends of the Porongurup Range — which attracts entries from across the Great Southern.

The exhibition features two categories, open and youth, with entries open until September 16.

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Co-ordinator Judy O’Neill said artists who had been contributing annually, as well as new faces, were invited to join the milestone celebration.

“People don’t know what talent they have got until they start doing something,” she said.

“A lot of people that can just give it time and a bit of concentration can come up with all sorts of things.”

The exhibition, previously known as Art in the Park, was started in 2002 by late Friends of the Porongurup president Ann Burchell to raise money for the purchase of a 511ha farming property now known as the Twin Creek Conservation Reserve.

The volunteer-managed reserve has become a site for science and home to protected plant communities, revegetated areas and regrowth.

“At that time there were very few exhibitions for sculptures, especially large ones,” Ms O’Neill said.

“Art in the Park became a wonderful opportunity for artists to display their unique work, and an avenue for sales.

“Generous sponsors and tireless volunteers have kept the dream alive, albeit now at a different Porongurup location.

“The success of Castle Rock Skywalk and large visitor numbers resulted in a shift of location for the art.

“The Porongurup Hall grounds and bush trails provide an ideal setting with plenty of locations for large sculptures.”

Winners will be decided by the public across the week and announced on October 2.

This year’s competition will also feature $100 daily “Birthday Prizes” sponsored by the Corkescrew Gallery and Porongurup Friends.

The exhibition will coincide with indoor arts and craft market Art in the Hall Bazaar.

On September 30, Art in the Dark will take people on guided torchlight tours of the sculptures with music and food available.

Visit porongurup.org.au.

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