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Open Wide, Come Inside, It’s Play School at the Shepparton Art Gallery

The Shepparton Art Gallery will welcome the beloved Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) children’s show Play School, with a new exhibition, ‘Hickory Dickory Dock – the Changing Face of Play School’ opening soon.

Greater Shepparton is the first stop for ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’, a tour from the National Museum of Australia and ABC, supported by Visions of Australia, and offers visitors a unique opportunity to see much-loved props from Play School in the gallery. 

Shepparton Art Gallery director, Leanne Willis, said the exhibition is expected to be very popular and will feature some well-known characters from the 38 year old children’s television show.

“The exhibition focuses on props from the show that were donated to the museum after a set redesign,” Ms Willis said.

“People who come to the exhibition will be able to reminisce about their own memories of Play School when they see the toys and archival footage.”

“Who could miss an opportunity to see the real Big Ted, look through the famous arch window, or tell the time on the rocket clock?”

“The exhibition also treats us to a look behind the scenes of the show, including lesser-known stories about the ‘people with games’, for example, the mysterious disappearance of the original Little Ted in 1973,” Ms Willis added.

Popular Play School presenter and Australian actor Rhys Muldoon will officially open the exhibition at a special event at 5.30 pm on 3rd June. 

In conjunction with this exhibition, the gallery will be holding a series of free workshops for parents of children at pre-school age.  Bookings are essential.

Admission to Shepparton Art Gallery is free and it is open seven days a week from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The gallery is located in the Eastbank Centre,
70 Welsford Street, Shepparton, phone 5832 9861.

Exhibition Opening – Meditation on a Korean Odyssey

Opening at the Shepparton Art Gallery on Thursday 20th May is a new ceramic exhibition, “Meditation on a Korean Odyssey”.

“Meditation on a Korean Odyssey” presents contemporary ceramic works created by accomplished artist, Petrus Spronk, after his residency in Korea in 1999 where, after encountering the landscape, he contemplated the vast accomplishments of Korea’s ceramics tradition.

Shepparton Art Gallery director, Leanne Willis, said Petrus Spronk’s ceramic works had been influenced by experiences in other cultures, not least of all in Greece, where he studied the ancient art of ceramic restoration.

“This investigation has proved most fruitful, and Petrus Spronk is now known for his process of breaking and then reassembling his own bowls. During this process a number of the bowls are broken into sections and different firing techniques applied,” Ms Willis said.

“Adorning these bowls are landscapes made from fields of traditional Chinese calligraphy characters.”

“In the spirit of his oriental experience, each piece in the exhibition is interestingly titled with two or three evocative lines akin to a traditional ‘haiku’ poem,” Ms Willis added.

Predominantly a potter, Petrus Spronk is also known for his writing, which can be viewed on his website at

The exhibition continues at the Shepparton Art Gallery until 20th June 2004.  Petrus Spronk will be a guest speaker at the next ‘Friends of the Gallery’ coffee morning at 10.00 am on 2nd June.  For information, contact the gallery on
5832 9861.

Admission to Shepparton Art Gallery is free and it is open seven days a week from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The gallery is located in the Eastbank Centre,
70 Welsford Street, Shepparton, phone 5832 9861.

Local Personalities put Palettes on Display at Art Gallery

Local personalities have put paint to palette to support the Friends of the Gallery at an auction dinner, ‘Palettes of Colour’ on Saturday 29th May.

Shepparton Art Gallery director, Leanne Willis, said the collection of local works was very diverse and included palettes decorated by identities including the Mayor, Cr Anne McCamish; Millicent McNeill; Rob Robson, Manager of Performing Arts and Conventions; and Carmel Johnson of Goulburn Valley Health.

“Local artists who have also contributed palettes to the collection include Don Ainsworth, Kevin Atkinson, Linda Botham, Christine Broerson, Isa Brooke, Mark Cain, Glenda Cornell, Jan Donaldson, John Head, Debra Lynch, Ross Paterson, Rosa Purbrick, Jean Vistarini and Bev Williams,” Ms Willis said.

In conjunction with the local display of works, a new exhibition entitled ‘An Artist’s Palette’ will open on Thursday 20th May in the Community Gallery.

Ken McGregor, a manager for some of Australia’s best known artists, is touring a collection of palettes painted by some of his clients.   

“Mr McGregor will appear at the ‘Palettes of Colour’ dinner and will walk through the exhibition and talk about the palettes.”

A competition is being held to identify the artists who have contributed works to the ‘An Artist’s Palette’ exhibition and the answers revealed at the dinner.

21 local primary schools have also become involved in the ‘palette extravaganza’ donating almost 1,200 decorated palettes for display in the Eastbank foyer.

Fractured Fairtyale Comes to WestSide – ‘Ruby Moon’

A fractured fairytale from the heart of surburbia, Matt Cameron’s new play ‘Ruby Moon’ comes to the WestSide Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday 26th May.

Presented by Playbox theatre and starring seasoned Australian performers, Heather Bolton and Peter Houghton, ‘Ruby Moon’ is the tale of the day little Ruby sets off from Flaming Tree Grove to visit her grandmother and is never seen again.

The Council’s Manager Performing Arts and Conventions, Rob Robson, said the play begins like a fairytale, but ends somewhere else entirely.

“The playwright, Matt Cameron, performs the theatrical magic of finding dark shadows in primary colours, and what appears to be quite innocent becomes a chilling and haunting mystery.  It’s an intriguing play,” Mr Robson said.

“The play was written with the remarkable talent of Peter Houghton in mind, and together with Heather Bolton they bring to life the parade of enigmatic characters that inhabit the world of Flaming Tree Grove.”

Ruby Moon has been selected to be studied on the VCE Theatre Studies monologue list for 2004 and is must-see viewing for students and parents alike. 

Don’t miss ‘Ruby Moon’ at the WestSide Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday 26th May. Tickets are available at the Riverlinks Box Office on 5832 9511, or in person at the Eastbank Centre, Welsford Street, Shepparton.

“Playbox Theatre will also hold a theatre workshop for interested people on Wednesday 26th May from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm”, Mr Robson added.

Tickets for the workshop are $10.00 and must be booked at the Riverlinks Box Office.  For more information, contact the box office on 5832 9511.