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By Kath Gannaway

“We are awash with art in the Yarra Valley.”
Artist and gallery owner, Reggie Clarke opened the 2017 Yarra Glen Arts Show on Friday, 10 March, with an enthusiastic rundown of the plethora of art events coming up in the Yarra Valley of which the art show was an exciting start.
The biennial show filled the Yarra Glen Memorial Hall with hundreds of artworks in genres that ranged from realist to impressionist and contemporary abstract to traditional landscape.
Show co-ordinator Debra Traill said the show offerd new, emerging and experienced artists, sculptors, textilers and, for the first time, photographers, with an opportunity to showcase their works, and to sell them.
Yarra Ranges Councillor Tony Stevenson also spoke, saying the Yarra Ranges had a vibrant arts community supported by the council, artists and community members.
He said the Yarra Glen Arts Show was full of the community spirit that strengthened connection to community.
Sculptures made by students from local primary schools were displayed in local shops this year on a theme “What I love about the Yarra Valley”.
“This show reflects innovation and creativity in our community, and shows communities like Yarra Glen at their best,” Cr Stevenson said.
Judges Margaret McLoughlin and Raelene Sharp spoke of the quality of the work, saying their task as judges was a huge challenge.
“There were so many stand-outs,” Ms McLoughlin said.
“We really had to find that something other, where artists had gone out of their comfort zone in making our final decision.”
A special highlight of the night was three couples who each put in $100, 15 years ago to launch the inaugural art show and who have been involved over the years.
“Every event needs to start with a vision purpose and, or, a dream,” Ms Traill said.
Jane and Malcolm Calder, Margaret and John Houston and Christine and Chris Mullens were presented with a special gift in recognition of their “vision, stamina and effort”.
For further information, including a full list of the prize winners of this year’s show, visitwww.yarraglenartshow.com.au.

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