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Whitsunday Wonders Unveiled: Art Exhibition Returns to Showcase Coastal Creativity!

Updated: Apr 3

Artworks at the 2023 Exhibition
Artworks by Jacqui Henderson & Ben Brown

Exciting news! The Great Barrier Reef Art Exhibition is set to make a comeback in 2024, finding a new home at the beautifully refurbished Whitsundays Sailing Club. Expressing enthusiasm for the event, Robin Ross, the General Manager of the Whitsunday Sailing Club, shared, "We are delighted to host this significant Exhibition, which will be a fantastic addition to the Sailing Club’s event calendar".

The upcoming exhibition, scheduled from August 1 to August 5, will showcase a curated selection of over 70 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, chosen by a discerning panel of judges. The Guest Judge will have the honour of selecting the winning artworks, with the grand announcement set for the Opening Night on August 1.  Stepping into the role for 2024 is Lauren Turton, esteemed Curator of Artspace Mackay.  The timing of the exhibition coincides with the Great Barrier Reef Festival events, creating a vibrant and engaging atmosphere.

Margie Murphy, Chairperson of the Great Barrier Reef Festival, expressed her delight at the addition of the Exhibition to the Festival.  “The 2023 exhibition was a fantastic addition to the festival program, enhancing the artistic dimension of the event and attracting new visitors, and we can’t wait to see the new entries this year!” Ms Murphy said. 

Viewing the artworks
Haley & Iluka Vogel explore the 2023 Exhibition

This event is a golden opportunity for artists residing in the Great Barrier Reef region, spanning from Agnes Waters to Cooktown, to exhibit their creations. Leigh Skead, President of Creative Connections Whitsundays Inc, the Exhibition organisers, expressed anticipation for a larger Exhibition this year, building on the success of the inaugural 2023 Exhibition. The theme, "Whitsunday Wonders: Above and Below the Surface" invites artists to explore the dual realms of our beautiful region. Above, capture the ethereal landscapes, skies, and coastal marvels and/or delve into the intricate web of marine life, showcasing symbiotic wonders and delicate relationships that define the heartbeat of the Great Barrier Reef. Gratitude was extended to key sponsors, including the major sponsors, Whitsunday Sailing Club and Tassal Group Limited, for their crucial support in providing this platform for artists and art enthusiasts.

Numerous art prizes await, notably the inaugural 'Cathy Knezevic Local Artist Award,' generously supported by the Whitsundays Arts Festival.  “This prestigious recognition honours Cathy's foundational role in establishing the Whitsundays Arts Festival and her substantial contributions to the local arts community," commented Jess Begun, President of WAF.  There are ongoing discussions with Whitsunday Regional Council regarding their support of the Arts through an acquisitive art prize for this Exhibition.

For aspiring artists eager to participate, the exhibition provides an opportunity to showcase and potentially sell up to two artworks, while also qualifying for various prize categories. Entries open on April 1, and artists are encouraged to stay informed by subscribing to the exhibition newsletter and join the rapidly growing membership to enjoy exclusive benefits and discounts.  This year’s event promises to be a memorable celebration of creativity and community spirit, fostering connections and appreciation for the arts amidst the stunning backdrop of the Whitsundays.

If you would like to be part of our sponsorship team, whether large or small, tax deductible support can be given by following this link. Remember, 100% goes towards the costs associated with the Exhibition, the committee is completely volunteer.

Thank you to our current sponsors and project partner:


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