15th bentART Annual Exhibition – 2019
The 2019 bentART exhibition was held at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts, Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains of Australia. Opening night was on June 7 and was attended by 300 people. The exhibition ran over the Queens Birthday long weekend and there was a steady stream of visitors on all days with an estimated 300 visiting on those days totalling around 600 visitors in total to the bentART 2019 exhibition. There were 133 artworks entered by 62 artists 17 of these artists were first-time entrants to bentART. Of the 17 new entrants, 6 won awards. This year the committee introduced a Postcards category – A6 in size with a theme of “Reassessing Normal”, there were 12 entrants in this section which produced some interesting and thoughtful artworks. Due to hard work by the committee and generosity of our sponsors, the 2019 Prize Pool was in excess of $11,000.
The committee for 2019
President – Juls McWhirter, Vice President – Chia Moan, Treasurer – PamelaBriantSecretary – Clair Smith
and committee members – Jo Hibbert, Jonathan Llewellyn, Denise Jones, Karen Blomfield, Louise McLean.
Categories 2019 Exhibition
Open, Postcards – 2019 Theme – Reassessing Normal and Pets & Wildlife Smartphone-ography
Overall bentART Exhibition Award, Overall bentART Exhibition Runner Up Award, Highly Commended Awards– Nine, New Entrant Award Postcards Award, Curator’s Award, People’s Choice Award and Pets & Wildlife Smartphone-ography Award
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.
Amelia Tracey is a graduate of Sydney University’s College of the Arts (SCA), receiving her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours – Class I) in 2014. Majoring in Photomedia, Tracey became interested in the changing world of photography, and further, how technology was impacting the art world on a broader scale. Tracey is a Sydney-based artist, has exhibited in numerous group shows in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as having her first solo show in 2015. She has also been the recipient of multiple art awards, including the SCA Dean’s Award, the Clyde & Co People’s Choice Award, Artereal Gallery’s Mentorship Award, and Hall & Wilcox’s People’s Choice Award. Tracey was exposed to curation during her time at university and is honoured to be involved with the 2017, 2018 and 2019 bentArt exhibition.
Major Diamond Sponsors
Bendigo Bank – Katoomba, The Alex Hotel – Leura, Digital Age Lawyers, Catriona Swan – Belle Property Leura, Katoomba Fine Flowers, Three Sisters Social Group, ACON, Dantosa Blue Mountains Retreat and Lesbians Incorporated (LINC)
Blue Mountains City Council, Scenic World Shared, Wentworth Falls Animal Hospital, Harmony at Home
Torque Pilates Studio, Peita Davies – Home Loans, GangGang Gallery – Lithgow, Tara Whitie – Web Designer, Susan Templeman MP, Lithgow Sports Medicine, Beaut-T-ful Bags, Richards Financial Services, Christine’s Millinery, Bennetts Printing, Riverside Theatres – Parramatta, Novotel, Parramatta
Friends of bentART 2019
Alison Sweep, Angela Jursevics, Barbara Wall, Blackburn Family, Bryn Hutchinson, Catherine Cooper Norwood, Clair Smith, Chia Moan, Debra Wylde, Denise Jones, Dianne Fruin, Gabriele Rummel, Gill Green, Hilda Mavromati, Indigo & Ochre Architects, Josophans Fine Chocolates – Leura, Kaye Paton, Michelle Drage, Peter Williamson, Prue Wright, Rodney Mathew, Romola Hollywood, Sam Fischer, Sharryn Ryan, Yvonne Samuel
The 2018 Exhibition
The Exhibition– The 2018 annual bentART exhibition was held at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts over the June long weekend with Opening Night on Friday 8, June 2018. More than 360 people braved the cold wet night to attend the bentART opening with record numbers attending over the weekend. Opening night was kicked off with sponsors and friends of bentART attending a special preview of the exhibition prior to the official opening. There were two full rooms of artworks and for the first time opening night guests entered via the front door leading them directly into the digital media display. The number of entries was up this year with 130 artworks entered by 63 artists including 19 first time entrants with 35 works, as were the sales. This was an increase from last year where there were 51 artists exhibiting 109 artworks. The 2018 Exhibition was very successful with 65 artworks sold.
Prizes – The prize pool was again in excess of $6,000, which was a great achievement as major costs to finance the exhibition all increased.
Management Committee 2018
President – Julianne (Juls) McWhirter
Vice President – Jonathan Llewellyn
Treasurer – Jo Hibbert
Secretary – Pamela Briant
Committee Members – Christine Thompson, Clair Smith, Denise Jones, Karen Blomfield, Louise MacLean, Patrick Lee, Regine Wagner.
Amelia Tracey is a graduate of Sydney University’s College of the Arts (SCA), receiving her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours – Class I) in 2014. Majoring in Photomedia, Tracey became interested in the changing world of photography, and further, how technology was impacting the art world on a broader scale. Tracey is a Sydney-based artist, has exhibited in numerous group shows in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as having her first solo show in 2015. She has also been the recipient of multiple art awards, including the SCA Dean’s Award, the Clyde & Co People’s Choice Award, Artereal Gallery’s Mentorship Award, and Hall & Wilcox’s People’sChoice Award. Tracey was exposed to curation during her time at university and is honoured to be involved with the 2017 & 2018 Bent Art exhibition.
Sophia Kouyoumdjian has worked in the arts sector for over 15 years across directorial, curatorial and exhibition management roles. Currently the Coordinator, Parramatta Artists Studios and previously the Acting Director and Curator at Blacktown Arts Centre, Sophia has comprehensive experience in Western Sydney’s contemporary arts sector. She is on the board of I.C.E and the SAMAG committee. Most recently, Sophia curated Primavera 2017 for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia.
Shane Smithers is a Darug man of the Burraberongal clan. His traditional country extends along the Hawkesbury River and extends inland to the top of the Blue Mountains. Shane holds a PhD in Philosophy and is currently studying for a DCA at UTS. Additionally, he is an artist, he paints, carves and sculpts in a range of materials. He uses traditional Aboriginal symbols and designs in a contemporary style, to tell both ancient and modern stories through his works. The patterns and figures used throughout his work are traditional to the Darug people. Shane uses patterns and symbols to tell intricate stories.
Sponsors, Supporters and Friends of bentART– The committee is extremely grateful to our fabulous sponsors, without whom bentART would not happen. A big thank you to our longstanding and our new sponsors this year. In addition to our sponsors, there are a number of businesses that support bentART by way of donating prizes which also helps to cover costs and of course thank you to the Friends of bentART who also give financial support.
DIAMOND (MAJOR) – $1,000+
Bendigo Bank – Katoomba, Catriona Swan – Belle Property, Leura, Fed, Blue Mountains, Katoomba Fine Flowers, The Blackburn Family, Three Sisters Social Group
SAPPHIRE – $500-$999
Amelia Tracey – Artist, Blue Mountains City Council, Harmony at Home, Blackheath, Mountain Whispers, Scenic World, Wentworth Falls Animal Hospital
RUBY – $250-$499
Blackheath Family Medical Centre, Christine’s Millinery, Circus Boutique, Dr Madhu Tamilarasan, Bowenfels Medical Practice, Eternal Summer by Kel, Hope Tree Framing and Art, iTalk Travel, Katoomba, Klipt Kanines, MoLo Wood Creations, Rex-Livingston Art+Objects, Ruby Spur Digital Marketing Agency, Susan Templeman MP, Tara Whitie Web Designer & Developer
2018 bentART Promotional Design
The 2018 bentART promotional design created by Amelia Tracey. This design is a representation of the “purple hand” that was an early symbol of the Gay Liberation Front and the Society for Individual Rights. The term originated in October of 1969 when 60 activists responded to the San Francisco Examiner’s series of disparaging news articles about the LGBT community by staging a protest in front of their building. Employees of the newspaper dumped bags of purple printers’ ink from the third-storey window of the newspaper building on the peaceful protesters. The activists used the ink to draw slogans on the building walls and stamp purple handprints throughout downtown San Francisco resulting in one of the most visible demonstrations of the gay uprising at that time. This design is not only emblematic of the purple-handed event of the 60s but is a celebration of how far we have come since. It symbolises that on the 9th December 2017, Australia achieved the overwhelming victory of marriage equality, bringing us one step closer to living in peace.