Border Art Prize now on at Tweed Regional Gallery

Entries from both sides of the border reflect region’s vibrant artistic scene

Acclaimed artist Euan Macleod announced the winning works in the 2016 Border Art Prize at the official opening of the exhibition at the Tweed Regional Gallery on Friday 6th May.

The exhibition of 279 of entries is on display at Tweed Regional Gallery (open Wednesday to Sunday) until Sunday 10 July.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto: Visitors view the 2016 Border Art Prize at the Tweed Regional Gallery

Euan was impressed by the “variety of media, styles and subjects all handled with enthusiasm and passion”.  As he walked around the exhibition, surrounded by the viewing public, he noted that gallery visitors “were really engaged with the work”.

Mullumbimby artist Robyn Sweaney was awarded the $3,000 first prize in the regional art award for her oil on linen painting Oasis, depicting a house, a subject for which she is well known.  First prize is funded by Tweed Shire Council.

“This beautifully painted work shows an ordered vision which on continued viewing becomes unsettling,” Euan Macleod said.

The Border Art Prize is a joint initiative of Tweed Regional Gallery and Gold Coast City Gallery to support the endeavours of artists living and working in the NSW North Coast and South East Queensland. The award shows both 2D and 3D works covering a wide variety of subjects, as entrants aren’t required to work to a theme.

The Prize attracts a wide variety of styles from both well-known and emerging artists, reflecting the region’s lively artistic community.

Zom Osborne from Federal, near Lismore, won the $1,500 second prize – funded by the Friends of the Gallery – with Swan Sisters, an evocative and detailed acrylic on wood.  Ocean Shores entrant Sean Connors was awarded third prize, also funded by the Friends of the Gallery, for his acrylic painting Dawn’s early light.

The judge noted that all three winners displayed “complete mastery of materials and subject matter, used to evoke a sense of mystery”.

Photo: Detail of Robyn Sweaney’s Oasis, oil on linen

In addition to these awards, local artist and teacher Shirley Kennedy provides funds for Encouragement Awards which she selects in consultation with the Gallery’s Director, Susi Muddiman OAM.

These awards reflect the variety of media in the exhibition with the two $500 awards recognising Unearthed, a large ceramic vessel by Ruth Park of Wollongbar, and Wooyung Valley, a lush oil painting in earth tones by Andrew Hmelnitsky from Casuarina.

The two $250 awards were to drawings by Emma Jewry of Pumpenbil for her mixed media Sitting woman and Laura Tate from Mullumbimby for Mynd.  Shirley commended the exhibition for its good representation of both 2D and 3D works.  She also acknowledged the artists who were not selected for exhibition and urged “never ever give up… persevere and you will break through”.

Around 400 people turned out to attend the opening of this exciting exhibition, which was officially opened by Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase.   Cr Polglase highlighted the parity of entrant numbers from Gold Coast and Tweed Shire demonstrating the importance of the Border Art Prize as a cross-border event.

The exhibition of 279 of entries is on display at Tweed Regional Gallery until Sunday 10 July. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm and admission is free.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Friday 6 May, 2016.
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide : Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and Big Volcano Artists, Designers & Studios guide.

New memorabilia and fashion exhibits at Tweed Regional Museum

What do a prayer desk, a hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s and an All Blacks football blazer have in common?

Not a lot – but all of these items play a part in stories significant to the Tweed, and have been recently acquired for the Tweed Regional Museum collection.

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June, with a talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers to be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

Photo:  A 1920s Handed Beaded Evening Jacket

What’s New 2, the second in a series of displays showcasing recently-acquired items, also features a collection of memorabilia associated with well-known local builder George Hanna (of Hanna and Edmed) a doll’s hat from the early 1900s and the band from a cap belonging to a HMAS Uki sailor.

Tweed Regional Museum Director Judy Kean said carrying out research on items donated to the collection was always a joy – partly a journey of discovery and partly detective work.  “Putting together this display was no exception,” Ms Kean said.

“It took us into the fascinating and sometimes poignant lives of many people and events, and spanned the decades from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

“In some instances, thanks to the work of donor families, we have been able to access detailed histories of the circumstances in which these items were used and how they survived,” she said.

Ms Kean said in other instances, there was a lot more to discover.  “The beautiful hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s made by Dorothy Thornton is the last surviving example of the skill of a gifted seamstress,” she said.

“Thanks to the research already undertaken by the Thornton family, we know much about the family’s connection to the Tweed and about Dorothy, including the early days of her marriage and the glamorous social life she and her husband Syd enjoyed in Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast in the 1920s.

“In other cases, such as for the All Blacks rugby league blazers owned by Alex Itong, player and selector for the team in the 1940s and 1950s, initial research reveals there’s a whole lot more to be recorded.

“As for the doll’s hat, the little we know is probably all we’ll ever be able to discover,” she said.

“We hope people will enjoy these wonderful stories and the glimpses they offer into our rich past and maybe even help to fill in some gaps.”

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June.

A talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers will be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

For more information, contact the Museum on (02) 6670 2493 or visit

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Excavating Main Street, Free talk at Murwillumbah museum

For visitors to Murwillumbah late last year, it wasn’t hard to notice the major road works taking place along the length of Main Street in the historic town centre.

What they might not have noticed was the project provided an opportunity to dig into the past of the central business district and uncover a few interesting finds.

 Photo: One of the bridges uncovered during the Main Street excavations

Exhibition on until 15 July 2016

Museum Director Judy Kean said Excavating Main Street was a small display that documented the project and featured some of these finds, on exhibition until 15 July this year.

Murwillumbah-based archaeologist Cosmos Coroneos, who completed research and documentation of the historical aspects of this project, will present a free talk about his work at Tweed Regional Museum on Wednesday 17 February.

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm with Mr Coroneos’s presentation starting at 6pm.

“We are delighted to be able to add the wealth of significant information assembled during the project to the Tweed Regional Museum’s extensive collection, particularly for an area already recognised for its heritage value,” Ms Kean said.

“The replacement of major drainage provided an opportunity to re-examine some of the early infrastructure in the area, in some cases dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

She said historic photos and maps already in the Museum’s collection provided important points of comparison for those working on the project.

“For example, the 1929 concrete road and associated drainage was uncovered, as well as wooden foot bridges dating back to the late 1800s,” she said.   “One of these showed clear evidence of damage caused by the great fire of 15 September 1907, which became known as Red Sunday.

“By adding this next generation of documentation, and an intriguing selection of finds to the Museum collection, we are making sure that in 100 years’ time the story of Murwillumbah Main Street drainage 2015, and the earlier story of this historic precinct, can be easily discovered.”

“Archaeology brings a crucial dimension to projects like this,” Ms Kean said.

“The process of researching historical sources such as early photos in the Museum’s collection enabled Council to anticipate what might be found during excavation and the involvement of Mr Coroneos ensured that important historical finds could be appropriately documented, preserved where appropriate, and that work could continue as quickly as possible.”

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Archibald Prize 2015 regional tour on display at Tweed Regional Gallery

Nationally prestigious touring exhibition comes to Tweed

The winning portrait of the 2015 Archibald Prize, along with all the 2015 finalists, is part of a regional touring exhibition.  Opening on Friday January 15th 2016, the event also includes a grand Gala Opening and Cocktail party at 7pm, by Dr Michael Brand, Director  of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the 2015 winning artist Nigel Milsom, the Gallery’s special guest.

The Archibald Prize 2015, an Art Gallery of New South Wales touring exhibition, will be on display at Tweed Regional Gallery from 15 January to 28 February 2016.

The exhibition is arguably the nation’s most famous and popular Prize, awarding $100,000 to the winning artist. Entries must be painted in the past year, from at least one live sitting with the artist.

The touring exhibition includes all 2015 finalists from the much-loved portraiture prize, held annually by the Art Gallery of NSW.

2015 Archibald Prize finalist
Juan Ford
A bungled clairvoyance of William Buckley or Ludwig Leichhardt's most intense moments (I can't decide which, you choose). Attempted while atop a mountain
oil on linen
137 x 153 cm
© the artist
Photo: © AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins

**This image may only be used in conjunction with editorial coverage of the 2015 Archibald Prize competition, on display 18 July to 27 September 2015, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This image may not be cropped or overwritten. Prior approval in writing required for use as a cover. Caption details must accompany reproduction of the image.***Media contact:
Photo caption: Juan Ford, A bungled clairvoyance of William Buckley or Ludwig Leichhardt’s most intense moments (I can’t decide which, you choose). Attempted while atop a mountain, oil on linen, 137 x 153cm, © the artist, Photo: © AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins.

After the highly-anticipated exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the regional tour provides audiences outside of Sydney an opportunity to experience and enjoy the Archibald Prize in their local community.

In addition to viewing the popular exhibition, visitors to Tweed Regional Gallery will enjoy a range of programs associated with the Archibald Prize 2015 including voting for People’s Choice, viewing the Young Archies exhibition and participating in the Children’s Trail activity.

The Art Gallery of NSW also provides a host of online resources for visitors of the regional tour, including a mobile exhibition guide and education resources, so visitors are encouraged to bring along a mobile headset. For more information, visit

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said the Gallery was thrilled to host the exhibition.

“It’s great to see and hear the Gallery buzzing with keen visitors and sharing their opinions on the finalists,” Ms Muddiman said.

“This is a wonderful show to host over the holiday period and start the New Year with; we are definitely expecting crowds.”

The Gallery has made every effort to keep ticket prices affordable for all community members. Individual and family tickets to the Archibald Prize 2015 may be purchased at the Gallery on the day of your visit. School and bus groups must arrange and pay for their visit in advance on

Prices are as follows:
•      Adult – $10
•      Gallery Friend or Foundation member – $7
•      Concession or child aged 5 – 17 years – $8
•      Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) – $26
•      Children under five years – free
•      Bus group booking – $8 per person
•      School/education group booking – $6 per person

Gala Opening of the Archibald Prize 2015 regional tour

Tweed Regional Gallery will host a Gala Opening of the Archibald Prize 2015 regional tour on 15 January 2016 from 7pm to 9pm (DST time).

This ticketed event includes a cocktail party and official opening by Dr Michael Brand, Director – Art Gallery of New South Wales.  Artist Nigel Milsom, the winner of the Archibald Prize 2015, will also be the Gallery’s special guest.

Tickets are $75 or $65 for Gallery Friends and Foundation members, and include catering by the Gallery Cafe. Numbers are strictly limited and bookings are essential for this event. To secure a ticket, contact the Gallery on (02) 6670 2790.

The Archibald Prize 2015 is an Art Gallery of New South Wales touring exhibition.

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre – Big Volcano Visitor Guide