The catalogue featured in this article comes from a special art exhibition held in March 1970. It is a testament to an incredible undertaking by the Arthurs Creek State School Committee to showcase some of the finest Australian artists of the late 20th century with connections to the Arthurs Creek district.
This catalogue was kept in the collection of Bruce Draper, and is now over fifty years old. It is hoped that by sharing it with a wide audience, community members will come forward with memories, photos, newspaper articles, images of artworks or other items that may shed more light on this historic event in the life of the Arthurs Creek community and of the Australian art world.
Tim Russell recalls that his father Brian Russell, who lived at ‘Kangaringa’ on the Hurstbridge Arthurs Creek Road in the early 1970’s, helped to organise an art show to which local artists contributed. He understands it became a valuable collection on display, was featured in newspapers of the day, and security had to be arranged. Do you too have personal or family recollections of this event?
The historic significance of the contributing artists is evident, and it is difficult to imagine from this distance of time that such a substantial collection once stood in the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute at an event arranged in aid of the school next door. The artists involved were: Clifton Pugh, John Perceval, William ‘Jock’ Frater, Albert Tucker, John Serle, John Olsen, Arthur Boyd, John Howley, Charles Blackman, Fred Williams, Frank Werther, Leon Saper, Ian Cuxson, Valerie Strong, Peter Laycock, Helen Laycock, Lucy Dennis, Paul Dennis, Robert Mair, Bruce Davidson, Alma Shanahan and Julia Mair.
As the catalogue’s introduction aptly says, “This is a unique occasion in which artists and potters of the Arthurs Creek district are exhibiting together.
It is a fitting reminder that many of Australia’s major artists have, at some time, found inspiration in and near this area. As some leave, others come to take their place.
The School Committee takes pride and pleasure in presenting this exhibition.”
If you can help source memories, photos, newspaper articles or other items relating to this historic event please get in touch via the Contact Us page. As this article expands to include additional information all individual contributions will be given credit and resources will be shared with local historical societies.
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