Local artists scoop inaugural award as part of Southern Art and Craft Trail

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RDAGS director Simon Lyas, artists Meleah Farrell and Narelle Clark with ArtSouthWA chairwoman Merry Robertson.
Camera IconRDAGS director Simon Lyas, artists Meleah Farrell and Narelle Clark with ArtSouthWA chairwoman Merry Robertson. Credit: Laurie Benson

The inaugural Southern Art and Craft Trail Exhibition Award has been presented to two Kronkup artists.

Meleah Farrell and Narelle Clark were awarded $2000 for presenting a top-quality exhibition during this year’s SACT.

The Exhibition Award was created through sponsorship from Regional Development Australia Great Southern.

It was voted for by visitors to the events which were held across the southern region of WA from September 25 to October 10.

Photographer Meleah Farrell said she was thrilled to receive the recognition along with fellow creative Clark, a pottery artist.

The duo showcased their individual works with an exhibition titled Wist in Farrell’s gallery space in Kronkup.

“It’s such an honour to see how well received it was and to be recognised for that,” Farrell said.

“It will assist our working relationship. The gallery is still open now where we will continue to showcase our art alongside each other for the next 12 months.”

Camera IconWist.

The Southern Art and Craft Trail, now in its 19th year, is an opportunity for local artists and galleries to promote work through a diverse range of exhibitions, workshops and visual art experiences.

Last year, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event for the first time since its inception, much to the disappointment of the local arts community.

“ArtSouthWA are always looking at ways to create more community involvement and interest in the Southern Art and Craft Trail,” ASWA chairwoman Merry Robertson said.

“The Exhibition Award is a unique way to encourage excellence right across the art trail. RDAGS’ involvement as sponsors has allowed us to really think creatively to bring extra benefits to the artists of the region.”

RDAGS chairman Andrus Budrikis said RDAGS discussed how it could make a meaningful contribution to the visual arts in the region.

“Working closely with ArtSouthWA to develop the concept, our board agreed that an exhibition award would contribute greatly to stimulating artists to reach further while expanding the experience of visitors to the region,” Mr Budrikis said.

More than 200 local artists were on display at 52 venues across the Great Southern at this year’s trail, in major venues such as Albany Entertainment Centre and Vancouver Arts Centre, as well as smaller venues like the King River and Kalgan halls and home studios.

The trail featured textiles, painting, sculpture, jewellery, printmaking, photography, pottery, wood craft and more.

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