LOCAL artist Teresa Parkinson carried off the $500 purse for Best Pastel or Drawing, and entrants Jill Swifte and Isla Murray took out the Regional Encouragement and Youth Encouragement awards respectively at the Rotary Club of Kerang's annual Easter Art Show on Friday night.
Three hundred and thirty seven entries had been received for the this year's Easter show, around a third of them local.
"You could have knocked me over with a feather," said Teresa Parkinson of her win. "I haven't been painting very long so it's very exciting."
Her realistic pastel of a a young fallow deer was drawn from a photo taken by a friend in South Australia.
Isla Murray's painted silhouette of 'Wrens resting at sunset' won the Yvette Brimacombe Memorial Youth Encouragement Award.
The eleven-year-old from Cohuna "does a little bit of painting," her grandfather, Lloyd Murray said, and a bit of sketching as well.
There were quite a few rabbits to be seen, ranging from cute to somewhat menacing, but the award for Best Easter themed work went to a piece with a Bibilical subject - 'Ecclesiastes', a watercolour by Melbourne artist Joel Magpayo.
Flowers, rural scenes, and landscapes - both local and remote - were of course well represented.
Jill Swifte's watercolour, 'What happened to the river?' while painted at Heathcote was inspired by local issues, she said.
"I was thinking in terms of the rivers drying up. I know how important water is."
Artist and judge Janet Hayes explained that in making her choices she assesses concept, composition, skills, tone, colour, technique and presentation.
The work she judged Best in Show was 'Halcyon Days', a pond scene with goldfish by Melbourne-based artist Nancy Thurlby, which was an unusual composition with "amazing depth", Ms Hayes said.
Gannawarra Shire Council's acquisition, 'Number 17', was a colourful pastel of a stockyard scene by Balranald artist Jan Lawler.
The mayor, Cr Lorraine Learmonth, said she chose it because she was looking for something relevant to the area and topical.
Kerang's cattle yards closed down last year due to a decline in stock numbers, a development that has been met with sadness, anger or misgiving by many in the farming community.
There was also art on display that broke the traditional mould.
Golden Artists group president Danida Heitbaum-Ferres was highly commended for her "science fiction fantasy" work 'Nevindium Farash - the Edge of the Ghost Forest' - a painting that is part of a two decade-long project to detail a crumbling planet populated only by dragons.
The People's Choice Award was won by Rhonda Willoughby's oil painting 'Beautiful New Zealand.'
It was the 17th annual Easter Art Show and the 14th co-ordinated by Rotarian Jenny Kelly.
Read the full report in the Gannawarra Times, Tuesday, April 23, 2019.