The Yamba Museum, in conjunction with the Grafton Regional Gallery, is hosting an exhibition that represents local artists’ Visions of the Clarence Valley.
The gallery’s director, Jude McBean, and the mayor, Richie Williamson, officially opened the exhibition, which runs until August 21.
The exhibition is on display in the Yamba Museum’s Old Kirk, which was once the town’s Presbyterian Church (last used in 1999), before being relocated next to the museum in 2009.
Ms McBean said that galleries working in conjunction with museums is a relatively new concept.
“This is an outreach exhibition that provides access to people in the Lower Clarence to our collection.
“Not all people can travel an hour to Grafton, so it’s one way to reach out to new audiences.
“Also, it consolidates the partnerships between the gallery and the museums of the Clarence Valley – we’ve had a museum advisor program running in the valley for the past four years.
“You have to remember, all of these museums are volunteer based, whereas the gallery is professionally run, so the capacity of these museums to engage with institutions is not always there; however, it is increasingly becoming part of the profile across the regional areas.”
She said the concept was the brainchild of the museum’s curator, Marea Buist, who said she has “always been interested in using art to tell our historical stories”.
“I was keen to create that sort of relationship with the gallery,” she said.
“They first did an exhibition with some of our fish painters, beautiful marine paintings, and it’s snowballed from that.
“We’ve given objects to the gallery and they’ve given things to us to use, and just help us in general, too: if I want to borrow a plinth or some hangers and things like that, they’re able to help us.”
Visions of the Clarence Valley presents works selected from the Grafton gallery’s regional collection that reference recognisable icons such as the Clarence River, Angourie Point, the cane fields and the Jacaranda trees.
Artists on display include Cass Samms, Malcolm King, Frances Belle Parker, Graham Mackie, Henk Kaptein, John Millington, Rosie Vesper, Robert Moore, Deborah Taylor, Alison Williams, Peter Lane, Geoff Crispin, Doris O’Grady, John Witzig and the Grafton gallery’s director, Jude McBean.
The exhibition also includes works by the gallery’s patron, Ken Done.