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Council Welcomes SheppARTon Festival

The Greater Shepparton City Council is welcoming the beginning of the 2006 SheppARTon Festival, ‘Harmony’, and its program of events over the coming weeks.

Mayor Jenny Houlihan says the Council is encouraging all local residents to support the events that will visit the region for this year’s festival.

“We wish the organisers of the SheppARTon Festival well for the coming weeks for what has become the leading arts and entertainment festival on our calendar,” says Cr Houlihan.

“The festival has been such a great success in the past and this year’s theme of ‘Harmony’ celebrates the rich and diverse relationships we share in our community,” says Cr Houlihan.

The 2006 SheppARTon Festival will be officially launched at a free event at Eastbank at 7.30pm on Thursday 2 March. The launch will feature a performance by King Marong and Safara (Gambian musicians and dancers) as well as local indigenous performers.

There will also be the opportunity to view four visual art exhibitions – the Jed Award, Creative Textiles, the 2006 Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award and VCE 2005.

The Jed Award is a two-dimensional art exhibition that focuses on the festival theme of ‘Harmony’. Three prizes will be awarded and everyone is encouraged to come along to purchase a painting or to vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice Award.

For further information about the SheppARTon Festival and the program of events contact Claire Greatorex on 5832 9501 or visit the festival website at www.sheppartonfestival.net.au. Program guides can be collected from Riverlinks and other festival venues around Shepparton.

The SheppARTon Festival, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, will run from 2 to 13 March.

For all bookings contact Riverlinks on 5832 9511.

Gallery Abuzz During the SheppARTon Festival

The Shepparton Art Gallery will be a hive of activity during the SheppARTon Festival, with several exhibitions and art classes set to take place.

The “VCE Art 2005” exhibition, which opened on Wednesday 15 February, will continue during the festival. In its tenth year, the exhibition features the works of students in their final years of VCE and is a collaboration between the Shepparton Art Gallery and local art teachers.

Leanne Willis, Director of the Shepparton Art Gallery, says that the exhibition showcases a diverse use of media and artistic concerns.

“For many of these artists, it is their first time exhibition in a gallery or even having their work on public display,” says Ms Willis.

“The exhibition illustrates young people’s engagement in social issues, a keenness to embrace new media technologies, the influence of prominent Australian artists and their own intimate and personal expressions,” says Ms Willis.

“The exhibition aims to encourage, recognise and value the talents of the young people of our region and the artworks that are generated present facets of their imaginations, as well as their concerns and views of the world,” says Ms Willis.

The launch of the Kate Durham Exhibition will take place at 4.00pm on Saturday 4 March. Kate, a Melbourne-based artist practising in jewellery, sculpture and drawing, travelled to Nauru in 2002 and provided the first images of Australia’s Pacific Solution. Kate will open this exhibition together with some of Shepparton’s newest residents with first hand experience of the asylum seeker’s story.

Ceramics lovers will delight at the exhibition of 39 artworks on display as part of the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award. The exhibition showcases artwork from 11 countries, including Australia, Japan, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Free Events During Week One of the SheppARTon Festival

With the SheppARTon Festival set to kick off on Thursday 2 March, Chairperson Adam Furphy reminds everyone that there are some great events that are free!

“This year we’ve been able to incorporate some fantastic free exhibitions and events into the program,” says Mr Furphy.

“These free events are a great way for people who may not be that interested in art to get along and have a look at some of the great local and national talent we have,” he says.

Free events include:

‘Pacific Solution: a documentary by Sarah Macdonald’

10.00am Sunday 5 March at Harder Auditorium, Goulburn Ovens TAFE, Shepparton
Kate Durham and her crew secretly filmed inside refugee camps in Nauru and all over the island. This is the documentary’s premiere in Australia.

‘Taste of Tatura’

10.00am Sunday 5 March at Mactier Park, Tatura
Caters for thousands wishing to sample top wines and gourmet foods of the Goulburn Valley, while listening to great jazz. Also features children’s entertainment.

‘Sadako’

6.00pm Sunday 5 March at Queens Gardens, Welsford Street, Shepparton
Tells of the heart wrenching story of Sadako, a child of Hiroshima, who faces the final horror of World War II.

‘Tenzin Choegyal – Songs of the Mandala’

8.00pm Sunday 5 March at Queens Gardens, Welsford Street, Shepparton
One of Tibet’s leading folk singers. His vocal style crosses cultural barriers and transports audiences to his Himalayan origins.

‘Heads by Head – Arty Farty’ exhibition launch

6.30pm Monday 6 March at Bohjass Restaurant and Wine Bar, Wyndham Street, Shepparton
John Head turns his portrait painting skills to representing a range of individuals who may be regarded as ‘prominent’ in the local arts scene.

‘Koori Court Art Award’

6.00pm Wednesday 8 March at Shepparton Magistrate’s Court Foyer, High Street, Shepparton
The launch and announcement of this new and major Indigenous acquisitive art prize celebrates the cross cultural and social justice achievements of Shepparton’s Koori Court.

Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award Winners

Thirty nine ceramic pieces from 11 different countries are being showcased at the Shepparton Art Gallery from Friday 24 February as part of the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award in association with La Trobe University.

The winners (judged by international judge Akio Takamori) were announced at the opening on 24 February at the Shepparton Art Gallery.

THE SIDNEY MYER FUND PREMIER AWARD: $15,000

Ana Rosenzweig, Portrait, Spain

FRIENDS OF THE SHEPPARTON ART GALLERY SOCIETY AWARD OF MERIT:  $3,500

  • Vida Sobott, The bride stripped bare… and fled (2005), Australia

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY AWARD OF MERIT: $3,000

  • Tina Vlassopulos, Spiral, United Kingdom

POYNTZPASS PIONEERS AWARD OF MERIT:  $2,500

  • Hideaki Suzuki, Black Dimension, Japan

Special acquisitions to the Shepparton Art Gallery collection:

  • Lynda Draper, Australia, Still Life
    Lee Renninger, USA, Shag

The 2006 award, which received 317 entries, features a wide selection of contemporary international ceramics from countries such as Japan, Australia, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland, Lithuania, South Korea, Spain and South Africa.

The international judge, Akio Takamori from Washington, USA, is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Art, University of Washington and has an international reputation in his field. The exhibition will be on display at the Shepparton Art Gallery until Sunday 30 April 2006. 

Images of all works are available on request.

Admission to the 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 (03) 5832 9861.

Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award

Thirty nine ceramic pieces from 11 different countries will be showcased at the Shepparton Art Gallery from Friday 24 February as part of the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award in association with La Trobe University.

The biannual award, offers a $15,000 Premier Award with a further $9,500 in other prizes and acquisitions, with the winners to be announced at the opening on 24 February.

The 2006 award, which received 317 entries, features a wide selection of contemporary international ceramics from countries such as Japan, Australia, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland, Lithuania, South Korea, Spain and South Africa.

To be considered for the award, each ceramist sends a slide of their work, a CV and entry form to Shepparton. These entries are then forwarded on to an international judge who selects the pieces for exhibition.

In 2006 the international judge is Akio Takamori from Washington, USA. Akio is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Art, University of Washington and has an international reputation in his field.

Takamori will fly to Australia before the exhibition opens to select the winners of the award and to be a key note speaker at the seminar that is held in association with the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display at the Shepparton Art Gallery from Friday 24 February to Sunday 30 April 2006.

For enquiries please contact the Shepparton Art Gallery on (03) 5832 9861.

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

Guest Chef Adds to the Music Festival Menu

Celebrity chef Stefano de Pieri will be the guest chef for a special two course meal to be presented prior to the Shepparton concert by international guitarist, Massimo Scattolin on Sunday 12 February.

De Pieri and his brother Sergio are the organisers of the Murray River International Music Festival which is presenting a number of events in Shepparton between 9 and 12 February and this luncheon, followed by the concert by highly acclaimed Italian guitarist, Massimo Scattolin, will be a climax to four days of great music.

The two course meal, including wines, will cost $40 per head and will commence at 12.00pm, giving plenty of time for a leisurely lunch prior to the 3.00pm concert.

Bookings for the luncheon can be made, along with bookings to the concert, through the Riverlinks Box Office.

Guitarist Massimo Scattolin began his concert career as a soloist and later took up chamber music. He has developed a reputation in Europe and the United States as a brilliant executor of his art. In this concert he will perform some of the most popular classics for guitar.

Stefano de Pieri has for some time been a prominent ambassador for the Murray River system through his passion for fine food and wine. The concern of Stefano and brother Sergio for one of Australia’s greatest water catchments, and their complementary interests in food and music, have inspired the creation this great festival.

Stefano’s presence in Shepparton is an indication of how important our section of the festival is (and how important the Goulburn River is in relation to the health of the Murray). He will speak at the luncheon about his aspirations for both the festival of music and the cultural partnerships that he hopes can unite towns along the great rivers.

Other Shepparton highlights of the Murray River International Music festival will include a very funny production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS PINAFORE”, a concert featuring Beethoven’s piano concertos, played on the Shepparton Steinway by internationally renowned pianist Anthony Halliday, soprano Louisa Hunter-Bradley and organist David Mcfarlane in a concert at Wesley Church, and an evening of ‘Tango Fever’ featuring international accordion player, Mirko Satto, and Tango dancers, Adrienne and Andrew Gill. 

The Festival is supported by sponsors Tourism Victoria, The Murray Campaign Committee, Tasco Inland, Hertz, Mildura Grand Hotel, Mildura Brewery and Mildura Arts Centre, Telstra Country Wide, Stefano de Pieri, and Regional Express, and is supported in Shepparton by the Greater Shepparton City Council through its Riverlinks program. 

Following are the details of the MRIMF events being staged in Shepparton. 

All booking inquiries can be directed to Riverlinks Box Office on 5832 9511.

HMS PINAFORE  (THE FINAL SAIL)   BY PROMAC PRODUCTIONS

Thursday 9 February 2006  2.00pm   EASTBANK

Starring the hilarious Brian Hannan and a cast of just 5 this is a rollicking and very funny rendition of this G&S favourite.  

BEETHOVEN’S PIANO SONATAS PLAYED BY ANTHONY HALLIDAY 

Friday 10 February 2006  8.00pm EASTBANK

Critically acclaimed pianist, Anthony Halliday, has given recitals throughout Australia and in Europe. In this recital he focuses exclusively on Beethoven’s Sonatas.  

LOUISA HUNTER-BRADLEY, SOPRANO

DAVID MACFARLANE, ORGAN

Saturday 11 February 2006  5.30pm (note this is a change to the originally scheduled time)     WESLEY CHURCH

Louisa Hunter-Bradley has extensive experience with Australian performance groups including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and at notable festivals in Australia and Europe. David Macfarlane has performed throughout Australia, as soloist and continuo player on organ and harpsichord. He will play the wonderful Wesley organ in this concert

MIRKO SATTO, ACCORDION

ADRIENNE AND ANDREW GILL, TANGO DANCERS

Saturday 11 February 2006  8.00pm   EASTBANK

Mirko Satto studied accordion at the Steffani Conservatorium of Castelfranco, Veneto in Italy. He has performed as a soloist, in duo and with chamber and orchestral groups throughout Italy and Europe. Adrienne & Andrew Gill, professional Argentine tango teachers and performers, are recognized internationally for the artistry and romance of their tango. 

(Presented in a cabaret setting, food and wine available to purchase from Eastbankfood.)

MASSIMO SCATTOLIN, GUITAR

Sunday 12 February 2006  3.00pm  EASTBANK

Massimo Scattolin began his concert career as a soloist and later took up chamber music. He has performed original compositions by Violet Archer and Astor Piazzolla and has developed a reputation in Europe and the United States as a brilliant executor of his art.

(A two course meal with guest chef Stefano de Pieri will be available from 12.00pm.)