Open Up to Art - OUTA

Bellingen has a history of supporting the arts and its artists and in 2017, the first Open Up To Art event, the community turned out in large numbers and made it an event worth remembering.

So keep free May 3, 4 and 5, join in and experience the music, performances, workshops and of course works created by over 30 artists living in the Bellingen shire.

Business are also gearing up, making artistic shop front displays and showcasing local talent. A series of new drawings by Karlee Rawkins will hang in Hyde Café, Emporium Bellingen is showcasing sculptures by Kathy Taylor and the Purple Carrot has a wall of drawings by Bernadette Divola - '100 Portraits', so come along and see yourself or your friends on the wall.

At the other end of town down at 40b Hyde St, Sourced Salvage Studio presents over 28 local artisans showcasing works that are repurposed, recycled, reclaimed and organically produced.

The Bellingen Kitchen Shop features works in their window display and Weave Bellingen, notable for their window performances, is keeping a secret ...

All the artists involved in this event have worked cooperatively to stage a theme-based, artist-run event around the question 'Y Art?' and OUTA pushes the creative boundaries; it's quirky, interesting and open to interpretation.

The Art Space in Urunga is a new addition to OUTA and Adrienne Hmelnitsky is running a series of life-drawing workshops. This is a must for all artists interested in the living form as Rob Canning will model and play the didgeridoo. Adrienne and fellow filmmaker Gethin Coles have organised Welcome to Country and the opening of 'The Naked Truth' exhibition, 6-8pm Friday May 3.

In the Bellingen precinct, ceramic artists and printmakers open OUTA on Saturday afternoon. These two exhibitions are showing only for the duration of the weekend so you need to be there to see the highly skilled and beautiful works by ceramic artists Gloria Malone, Tamasin Pepper and Annette Rogers in 'Three Artists, Two Days, One Earth' exhibition.

At the newly renovated Stables, OUTA presents an experimental printmaking exhibition, 'In Mono' by Marc Renshaw and 'Drift' by Mitch Thomas. Join the artists for either a morning workshop session or afternoon printmaking drop-in on Saturday for a chance to make a one-off print and exhibit your work in our live community print exhibition.

Walk through Bellingen to the opening of 'Mixed Messages' exhibition featuring artists Elisa Hall, Philip Senior, John Tuckwell, Shelley O'Keefe, Fiona Minto, Fran Trefry, Julie Hutchinson, Jackie Lee, Greg Stonehouse and Mel Fitzpatrick.

These artists have created unusual works that are offbeat, gritty and reflect the zeitgeist of our contemporary world where ambiguity and reflection play an important role in interpreting the art.

Street performers and saxophonist Pablo Beitzer then lead the way to Mathew Begg's unusual perspectives in 'Views' and then to the Brewery where photographers Liam Bede, Nick Arnold, Cam Shenfield, Saskia Folk open their show (DIS)comfort. There will also be a Gunganbu performance not to be missed and an evening chilling out with Yhan Leal and the Neverland Band.

Sunday provides the opportunity to 'Meet the Artists' at all the exhibition venues, and at the Brewery at 4.30pm join in a discussion on 'Y Art?' and attend the workshops.

Everyone is welcome and we are looking forward to your participation OUTA 2019.

For more information see the program on Facebook - Arts Network Bellingen (click OUTA) and www.bigfigarts.org for bookings.