bentART 2016

bentART 2016 opened on Friday 10 June, 2016 at 6:30pm and ran until Monday 13 June, 2016 at 2pm and was held at Wentworth Falls School of Arts, Wentworth Falls. Almost 1,000 people visited the exhibition over the weekend.

An artist talk took place on Saturday 10 June, 2016 at 3pm with artists Michelle Drage and Carl Milton.

The poster looked liked this:

bentART 2016 Eflyer

The sponsors for bentART 2016 were:

Alexandra Hotel Leura
Bendigo Bank Katoomba

Wentworth Falls Animal Hospital
Harmony at Home Blackheath
Scenic World Blue Mountains
McGrath Real Estate Wentworth Falls
Hopetree Framing and Art Wentworth Falls
The Three Sisters Social Group
Klipt Kanines & Splash and Dash for Dogs
Yindi Day Spa Katoomba
Lily’s Pad Cafe Leura

The following people made up the Management Committee for bentART 2016:

President – Hilda Mavromati
Vice President – Sue Lightfoot
Treasurer – Jo Hibbert
Secretary – Robyn Auld
Committee Members – Jonathan Llewellyn, Pamela Briant, Julianne McWhirter

bentART 2016 Judges
Catherine O’Donnell – Master of Fine Arts (Drawing), National Art School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Distinction and Dean’s Medal), University of Western Sydney
Matthys Gerber – Senior Lecturer, Painting, University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts.
Both artists exhibit their work on a regular basis.

bentART 2016 Curator
Tim Allen, College of Fine Arts, UNSW

bentART 2016 Prize Winners
59 artists exhibited a total of 135 works, excluding the Smartphoneograpy category.  There were a record number of 19 first time exhibitors.

bentART Overall Winner:
Amie Matheson for “Untitled

Category Winners:
Painting Wade Goring for “Trio
Photography Jochen Letsch for “Galactic Mistress” herself a mushroom oddity
Sculpture and Alternative Media Regine Wagner for “Totem Poles (We are Family)
Printing and Drawing Michelle Drage for “Flowering Gum
New Entrant Bianca Wolff for “Goddess Reborn

Highly Commended Winners:
Painting Peter Scriven for “Ficus Maximus Reginium
Photography Jamie Newton for “Mystique
Sculpture and Alternative Media Christian Thomas for “Angel of the Mountain
Printmaking and Drawing Liz Mortiss for “Deerling Apparition

Hangers’ Prize:
Sue Lightfoot for “Connections” (equal first) Christian Thomas for “Angel of the Mountain

Jochen Letsch for “Brothers

People’s Choice Award:
Mary-Louise Keating for “Ben

BentART 2016 AGM 

Sunday 25th September 2016

President’s Report

In 2016 the 12th annual bentART Exhibition was held during the June long weekend from Friday 10th June to Monday 13th June at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts. Once again bentART successfully showcased and celebrated the creativity and talents of LGBTI visual artists. Congratulations to the 60 artists who entered the exhibition and to all the prize winners.


Annually bentART relies on the generous sponsorship of local businesses, individual donations and community grants. This year’s major sponsors were: The Alexandra Hotel, Leura ($1800) and Bendigo Bank, Katoomba ($1500). Virgin Walls donated their exhibition space  to be included in the overall winner prize. This was  valued at $750.

In addition, sponsorship of up to $500 was received from Harmony at Home, Wentworth Falls Animal Hospital, Dr Mahdu Tamilarasan, Three Sisters Social Group, Klipt Kanines/ Splash and Dash, Hope Tree Framing and Yindi Day Spa.

We were also very excited to welcome three new sponsors: McGrath, Scenic World and Lily’s Pad who also donated up to $500.

I would like to thank Robyn, Sue, Juls and Jono for their efforts in successfully communicating with existing and liaising  with prospective sponsors to gain and maintain their support of bentART. Sue and Juls for their Facebook photography and Juls and  Jono for keeping the website up to date with sponsorship profiles.

In 2016 a Sponsors Preview of the exhibition was organised to show our appreciation of the continued and new support of our sponsors. This was a great success and we anticipate will continue for future exhibitions. We encourage our members to support our sponsors by supporting their businesses.

For a number of years bentART has been privileged to have the ongoing support of the local business community and this support is the reason why the exhibition can take place. We look forward to continuing our association with our sponsors into the future.

In addition thank you to “Friends of bentART”, who made donations of up to $50.

The Exhibition

The 2016 exhibition was curated by Tim Allen, College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney assisted by Sue Lightfoot and judged by Catherine O’Donnell Masters of Fine Arts, National Art School and Matthys Gerber, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney. We greatly appreciate that Tim, Catherine and Matthys generously donated their time, knowledge and experience and in doing so contributed to the success of bentART 2016.

Sixty artists exhibited  across four categories; Painting,   Printmaking or Drawing, Sculpture or Alternative Media and Photography. Nineteen of the artists were new entrants to bentART. 

As  per the 2016 bentART catalogue a total of 140 artworks were entered in the exhibition as follows:

Painting – 72

Printmaking or Drawing – 19

Sculpture or alternative Media – 12

Photography – 37

In addition six photos were entered into the Pet Smartphone-ography (additional category).

Prizes were awarded for overall winner, winner of each category, new entrant and people’s choice. This year the committee decided to remove the runner up prize and instead awarded a cash prize for highly commended in each of the four categories.

The opening night was strongly supported with an estimated 350 to 400 visitors in attendance. For the duration of the weekend the average number of visitors on each day was estimated at 150. Once again visitors were generous with their support of the raffle and gold coin donations for entry on Saturday to Monday. Art to the value of $10 500 was sold throughout the weekend, with the greater percentage of sales being made on opening night.

This year we also included an Artist’s Talk that was held on the Saturday of the exhibition. Jono organised artists to present their stories and answer questions from the floor. The small group that attended found it most informative and enjoyable. Thank you to Michelle Drage and Carl Milton, the artists who volunteered to share their stories and Jono for hosting the event. We hope to have more artists express an interest in participating  in the Artist Talk in 2017.


Without the assistance of committed volunteers the exhibition would not be possible. This year Juls McWhirter accepted the role of volunteer co-ordinator and did a wonderful job of organising and scheduling volunteers to assist in the lead up and conclusion of the exhibition. Up to 25 volunteers assisted in all aspects of the exhibition; hanging artwork, working on the sales desk and front foyer, roving, catering, dismantling and packing up and so much more. All were happy to help and did so with good humour and enthusiasm. On behalf of the bentART committee, artists and visitors THANK YOU to our wonderful volunteers and we look forward to working together again and encourage other members to join the bentART volunteer force.


Effective and immediate communication is expected in the 21st century and in 2016 we have made significant improvements in our capacity to communicate with our members and reach out to and be accessed by the greater community. 

This year Jono Llewellyn joined the committee and brought with him a depth and breadth of technology skills and ability to use social media platforms that were lacking in 2015. Thanks to Jono, once again we have a useful website and Facebook page. Our members can access online membership and entry forms and we have improved response time to enquiries. These improvements have also been used to provide our sponsors with greater exposure and hence advertising opportunities.

Communication with the bentART membership improved as a result of the update of our data base and Robyn’s Auld’s prompt responses to business at hand and business arising.

However, we did experience some issues with our email address and we continue to pursue a resolution to these issues.

Special Mention

Tony Ward (bentART committee member 2012-2014) sadly passed away in 2015. He initiated the decoration of the Wentworth Falls School of Arts stage and it always added extra style to the exhibition. This year in commemoration of Tony and his contribution to bentART, his partner Ian decorated the stage. It was a beautiful design worthy of Tony’s praise.  Tony was very committed to bentART. He has been missed and will continue to be missed. I extend a heartfelt thank you to Ian for making this significant contribution to the 2016 bentART exhibition. 

Management Committee

The 2016 management committee comprised seven members, four of whom were office bearers and three ordinary members. New to the committee were Jo Hibbert (Treasurer), Jono Llewellyn, Juls McWhirter and Pamela Briant (ordinary members). Members who continued on the committee from 2015 included Hilda Mavromati (President), Sue Lightfoot (Vice President) and Robyn Auld (Secretary). 

Planning and organisation for the exhibition included monthly management committee meetings, clarification of roles and responsibilities, establishment of time lines and identification of tasks to be completed leading up to and following the exhibition, website set up, monitoring of finances, membership, constitution and ongoing evaluation.

The committee consisted of volunteers some of who work full-time and all of which have significant personal responsibilities. Throughout the course of the year it became apparent that there was a need to have more members on the committee.  A call went out to the membership (via email ) from Robyn and two members responded and joined the committee – Pamela Briant and Juls McWhirter. This made a huge positive difference to operations and I would like to thank them for coming on board. Members are encouraged to join the 2017 bentART management committee.

Congratulations, and thank you to Jo Hibbert on her contribution to the committee as treasurer. Jo has also been successful in her applications to the BMCC Community Assistance Program and Blue Mountains CubGRANTS Program for funding for the 2017 bentART exhibition.

Thank you to Pamela and Juls for their flexibility and significant contribution to all operations. Thank you to Robyn for her wonderful work as the secretary and thank you to Sue for her ongoing assistance as Vice President and assistance with the curating of the exhibition. I extend my thanks to the 2016 bentART committee members for their tireless efforts to ensure the successful staging of the 2016 bentART exhibition. Their teamwork and dedication greatly assisted me in my role as President.

I would like to congratulate the artists and thank the sponsors and volunteers who contributed to the success of the exhibition.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my 3 years on the committee, two as treasurer and one as president. I have decided not to stand for the 2017 committee and look forward to being an entrant and volunteer for bentART 2017

Finally, I extended my best wishes to the incoming 2107 bentART management committee and wish them all the very best in the staging of the 2017 bentART exhibition.

Hilda Mavromati


bentART 2016