Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, will be special guest speaker at the Grafton Regional Gallery's upcoming Archibald Prize gala opening.
Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, will be special guest speaker at the Grafton Regional Gallery's upcoming Archibald Prize gala opening. Jenni Carter

Two major speakers for Archibald opening

ONE of Australia's best known Patron of the Arts, Rupert Myer AO, and the Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Dr Michael Brand, are our special guest speakers at the gala opening of the Archibald Prize 2017 Regional Tour at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

Australia's most popular portrait prize is opening at Grafton at 5.30pm, Friday, February 2. The Grafton Regional Gallery is the third venue of the seven venue tour of this major art award from the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Everyone is invited to join us on the sparkling evening. Bookings are essential. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite or at the gallery.

Rupert Myer AO has many links to the Clarence Valley however he is best known a patron of the arts and Chair of The Australia Council for the Arts, a position he has held since 2012. Rupert's portrait by Paul Newton is one of the 43 finalists of the 2017 Archibald Prize.

This highly decorated Australian serves as a member of the Felton Bequests' Committee and as a board member of Jawun - Indigenous Corporate Partnerships, Creative Partnerships Australia and The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Advisory Board. He is an Emeritus Trustee of The National Gallery of Victoria. Rupert is a Director of AMCIL Ltd, Healthscope Limited, The Myer Family Investments Pty Ltd and Hong Kong based eCargo Holdings Limited.

After gaining a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Melbourne Rupert was awarded a Master of Arts from the University of Cambridge and became a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2015 for distinguished service to the visual and performing arts, through governance roles with leading cultural institutions, as a supporter and benefactor, to the promotion of philanthropy, and to the community.

The Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Dr Michael Brand, is our second guest speaker of the evening. It is a great honour to have the Director of our state gallery at our gallery. Michael began as the Director in June 2012. Prior to this, he was consulting director of the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto while it was under construction. From 2005 to 2010, Dr Brand was director of the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, leading both the Getty Centre and Getty Villa sites and establishing its new Centre for Photography.

Dr Brand currently serves on the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Art Museums and the International Advisory Board of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. He is a past member of the Governing Board of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

The evening begins with a conversation between the sitter and the artist, between Rupert Myer and Paul Newton. Paul's painting, Portrait of Rupert Myer AO, is one of 43 finalists of the Archibald Prize 2017. Live music, substantial finger food and a pay bar operating are also on offer at the official opening. Bookings are essential and can be made at the gallery, by phone or by email or through Eventbrite at https://archibaldgalaopening.eventbrite.com.au Tickets $35 or $40 at the door and numbers are limited. Dress code is sparkling. See you there.

Young Archie

Portrait workshops for young artists aged 5 to 18 years are being held this week at Shoppingworld in the Link. Join local artist Lorina Dufty in the The Link Workshop Hub. Children will crate a portrait of a person who is special to them - someone who is known to them and plays a significant role in their life. Cost is $10 and this includes all materials, a snack and a drink. There is a limit of 20 spots per session. Bookings are essential at www.graftonshoppinworld.com.au

The workshops are part of the Young Archie competition run by the Grafton Regional Gallery. There are four age categories. Five finalists will be selected from each of the four age categories by our judge, artist Rhondella Hyde, who will then select a winner from each category. Each winner receives a $100 cash prize from the ANZ and an art hamper from S&S worth $150.

Entries along with an entry form are due to be delivered by 5pm Thursday, January 25, at the Grafton Regional Gallery. Entry forms are available at the gallery and on our website. All the best and we look forward to your entries.

Small offerings

The 2018 Postcard Show is on again at the Grafton Regional Gallery from February 3 to March 18, 2018. This wonderful opportunity to acquire some exquisite small postcard sized artworks is a fundraiser for the 2018 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA).

Thanks to the warm generosity of our local and national artists the gallery will have an array of gorgeous works donated to delight and tempt you for sale through a silent auction. So start saving your spare change to silently bid on the artworks while they are on display. It is a lot of fun being so interactive with such small delights.

The works will be from all art disciplines and will include prints, drawings, sculptures, mixed media, artist books and photographs. All of the funds raised support the acquisitions from the 2018 JADA.

2016 JADA on tour

The 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award Touring Exhibition is opening at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery on Thursday, February 1. Our JADA has been touring since December 2016 on an eight venue tour. Coffs Harbour is the sixth venue with the 2016 JADA being presented at Caboolture, Gympie and Redland regional galleries. After it closes at Coffs Harbour on March 3 the contemporary Australian drawing exhibition travels to Warwick then finishes its tour at the New England Regional Art Museum.

JADA Preview

The Friends of the Gallery are presenting an Archibald Preview at 5.30pm Thursday, February 1 for their financial friends. Their special guest is artist Paul Newton, a 2017 Archibald Prize finalist. If you are a Friend contact the gallery to book into this exclusive event. Tickets are $30 which cover entry to the Archibald, live music, delicious finger food and a pay bar.