There was a mix of colour, texture, materials and ideas on display last Friday night March 31 during the official opening of the 4th Lower Clarence Arts & Crafts Association (LCACA) 2017 8 x 8 Small Works Exhibition at Ferry Park. Officially opened by Dr Ian Tiley, the exhibition had one common theme, ‘Messages’. All works were created on an 8 x 8 inch canvas frame supplied upon entry, with 112 Open section catalogued entries and 66 Youth catalogued entries, ranging in age from 1 year to 90 years. Entries were received from as far away as Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast. This year methods and materials included paint (acrylic/oil), mixed media, textiles, watercolour, wood and bark, fabric collage, ink, felt, silk, pencil, fused glass and embroidery, to name a few. The Open section, judged by Lou Gumb, was won by local Ilarwill artist, Robyn Tychsen, with her oil painting Message Received. In her second year of entering, she said: “I always like to have a view of the Clarence Valley in the background of my works.” Second place artist, Elizabeth Buzzell, with a fabric collage piece titled Vintage Messages said “she had entered every year and enjoyed promoting art quilting and working with textiles”. Third place was awarded to artist, Gaye Sprenglewski, with her ink and coloured pencil piece Reading the P-mail. Highly commended awards went to Chris Finch’s acrylic painting Happy Messages, Karl Rubli’s timber piece Moonlight Message and Thomas Stuart’s mixed media artwork Studio Debris. On Saturday, the Youth section prizes were awarded after being judged by Alan and Evol King. There were 66 entries across three sections. Section 2 (4-7years) was won by Isla Stuart with her acrylic artwork, The Message Tree; second prize artist was Zeke Reifler with I Love Messages from my family in pencil and paint; and third prize artist was Sophia Sullivan with her acrylic painting Messages. Highly commended awards were received by Alex Stuart, Message in a Bottle and Eden Weatherburn, Love my Chickens. Section 3 (8-11years) was won by Solomon Reifler with his collage piece Media Messages; second prize artist was Marlo Mayo with his acrylic painting Read between the lines and third prize artist was Katelyn Medina-Prenol with another acrylic piece, In Between. Highly commended awards were received by Shayni Reifler, Keeping in Touch, Sean Sowell, Stop Ivory Poaching, and Millie Speirs, Read Me. Section 4 (12-16years) was won by Mya Smith with her googly eyed Braille artwork I can see you. Second prize artist was Richard with his acrylic painting Bounding Free and third prize went to Lilith Stark with The Edge of the Sea, an acrylic collage. The exhibition runs until April 28, at the Ferry Park Gallery, Pacific Highway, Maclean.