bentART was established in the Blue Mountains in 2005 to celebrate works in the visual arts of Australian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other sexually or gender diverse (LGBTIQA+) artists.
Each year over the June long weekend, the annual 4-day bentART exhibition is held in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
The inspiration of three Blue Mountains women, bentART has evolved into the largest LGBTIQA+ art event in Australia. Initially, for LGBTIQA+ artists living in (or with a strong association with) the Blue Mountains, bentART is now open to all LGBTIQA+ artists resident in Australia.
In 2015 a new category of Pet SmartPhoneography was added allowing members to enter works created using only their mobile phone device.
bentART has become a highlight of the Kings Birthday weekend of activities in the Blue Mountains for the lesbian and gay community in New South Wales and beyond.
The show is curated and judged by recognised experts from within the Australian arts community. Previous judges have included:
Professor Amanda Lawson (Dean, Faculty of Creative Arts – University of Wollongong.
Richard Perram Director of Bathurst Regional Art Gallery).
John Kirkman (former CEO, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewis Bequest).
Ingrid Hayden (well-known Sydney painter).
Former Archibald and Sulman Prize winner, Euan MacLeod.
Catherine O’Donnell (working artist).
Matthys Gerber (Senior Lecturer, Painting – Sydney College of the Arts).
Dr Sanne Mestrom (Senior Lecturer, Visual Art Sydney College of the Arts | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences).
Lizzy Marshall (Western Sydney-based curator, educator and writer).
Rebecca Waterstone holds a Master of Art (With Excellence) from the University of NSW Art and Design, and a Bachelor of Education from Western Sydney University.
Yvette Hamilton is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and academic, Yvette is an Associate Lecturer in Photography and Moving Image at UNSW Art and Design and a current PhD candidate at the University of Sydney.
bentART was originally auspiced by the Mountains Community Resource Network before becoming incorporated under the NSW Associations Act in 2009.
The story of bentART in pictures.
Thanks to Anne McKenzie for allowing bentART to use this image.