Woden Art Show 2004

The 2004 Woden Art Show was a great success, and was an improvement on our inaugural show in 2003. We had more entries and more publicity. Articles about the Art Show were featured in 2 issues of The Chronicle (May 25th and July 13th).


Report on the
Woden Valley Community Council Art Show 2004
“Woden Up-Close and Personal”

9 November 2004

Dear David,

This is our report to the Community Council on the Council’s 2nd Art Show, Woden Up-Close and Personal, which was held in August 2004 at the Woden Public Library.

The 2004 Woden Art Show was a great success, and was an improvement on our inaugural show in 2003. We had more entries and more publicity. Articles about the Art Show were featured in 2 issues of The Chronicle (May 25th and July 13th) (attached).

In June 2003, I designed a web site dedicated to the Art Show, hosted by my business, Sutherland Studios: (www.sutherland-studios.com.au/artshow/) . The Entry Form and Conditions of Entry are on the site, available as PDF files to print out. This method was very effective – the Entry Form PDF alone was downloaded 253 times. The winning entries were photographed and are on display on this site.

We also have a presence on the web site Communities Online, which also gained us publicity through the Chronicle’s ‘What’s On’ section, which is taken from advertised events on Communities Online. (www.actco.org.au/wodenvalleycommunityartshow/index.html)

I designed flyers about the show, which were available at The Art Store (Phillip) and the Woden Library (sample attached). A poster and flyers advertising the show were also displayed at the Weston Creek Primary School Art Show in May 2004.

Our judges were local artist Arlene Williams (Fine Art Judge) and local photographer Robert Deane (Photography Judge). They were both enthusiastic participants in the whole process, and a pleasure to work with. They were each given a bottle of wine as a token of our gratitude (donated by Mike Reddy).

We contacted local High Schools and Colleges (Marist College, Melrose High, Stromlo High, Alfred Deakin High, Canberra College) about the Art Show, speaking with the head Art Teachers at each school in Term 4, 2003, and sending letters with details about the show in Term 1, 2004. We had no response from the High Schools. The Canberra College photography students participated again, showing a high standard of work. Helen Ozolins, photography teacher at the College, was very supportive, as she was last year.

The U3A was also contacted, and entry forms posted to their art teachers well in advance, however the package wasn’t opened for months, so we only received a few U3 entries.

We received quite a few phone calls about the Art Show, with requests for entry forms, and general information.

We received 49 entries over all categories (both fine art and photographic). We had 25 entries in the combined Under 19 categories ( 21 Photographic; 4 Fine Art). In the General (ie not Under 19) categories there were 24 entries (8 Photographic; 16 Fine Art).

Our sponsors were – The Art Store ($120 as 6 x $20 vouchers); RetireInvest; FACS; Russell Kightley Media; and the Vitality Health Centre. There was a total of $550 in cash and $120 in vouchers. We offered a range of prizes and encouragement certificates. There were 1st and 2nd prizes in all categories; several ‘Encouragement Awards’ and ‘Highly Commended’ certificates.

The show opening was on Friday 30 July, upstairs at the Woden Library. It was attended by about 30 people. Canberra College students and staff helped by serving drinks and sandwiches. We had caterers [name?] provide the food. Representatives of most sponsors also attended.

The Woden Library staff were co-operative, and hanging/taking down the show went smoothly, despite it occurring in the midst of major library refurbishments.

The main display was downstairs at the Library, on free-standing partitions donated by Daramalan College. Ralph Sutherland helped us hang the show. The exhibition was eye-catching, and attracted a great deal of attention and positive comments. The librarians gave us extremely good feedback, and the Woden Library is keen to be the venue for the Art Show again in 2005.

The response from the entrants was really encouraging, and made the whole thing worthwhile. It was the first time many of the artists and photographers had exhibited their work in public. For several others, it had been an impetus in getting back into exhibiting, after a break of some years. The standard of Under-19 photography in particular was very high. The Open fine art category was also very good, with a wide variety of works.

Overall, the Woden Art Show was a positive experience for all concerned. It raised the profile of the Woden Valley Community Council, and was a positive addition to the cultural life of the Woden region.

Robert Deane (our photography judge) suggested that we run a workshop for entrants on framing. Poor framing and presentation were a weakness of many entries, and we are keen to help people learn how to present their work to a better standard. We will approach local framing shops to see if any of them are interested in working with us to develop a short demonstration / class on basic framing, tentatively to be held on the first weekend in July 2005.

• Continue to seek wider community support and sponsorship, especially from Woden/Weston area businesses.
• Try to gain greater participation of local students, especially through personal contacts at the Orana School in Weston.
• Work with staff at U3A to ensure their art teachers receive their entry form packs earlier.
• Widen our media coverage and public awareness of the Art Show, eg local ABC radio.
• Place a paid ad in the Term 2 ‘Holiday Happenings’ booklet to promote the Art Show to school students (this booklet is given free to all students Canberra-wide).

Change in categories :
• Simplification of Woden People and Woden Places to being one category Woden – which is open to anyone; the subject must be recognisably of Woden/Weston Creek region, people, buildings, or nature scenes.
• Continuation of the Open category for residents of Woden/Weston Creek region.
• Addition of a Special Theme – these entries can be in any medium, from any age and any address – the theme for 2005 will be PETS. This will hopefully encourage greater participation, especially from children.
• Intend to ask our 2004 judges if they would be interested in being judges again for us in 2005.
• Intend to arrange for some soft, live music to accompany the Art Show Opening – eg a classical guitar student from Canberra College?

Denise Sutherland
WVCC Art Show Sub-Committee

Mike Reddy