Entries are up for Mary Valley Art Festival next week
SUNSHINE Coast artist Victoria Fitzpatrick loves the Mary Valley Art Festival so much that she became a sponsor of the annual event held in the Imbil Public Hall.
The professional artist from Bli Bli is a winning entrant from previous art festivals held at Imbil, and will have a handful of paintings in this year's exhibition which kicks off with opening night fanfare on September 3.
Mrs Fitzpatrick is a full-time artist and enters many competitions each year, but she said the Mary Valley festival is a favourite.
"My husband insists I go in this one because we both love it," she said.
"It's a real community effort and is always so well organised and really well presented, so we make a point of being a part of it."
Mrs Fitzpatrick is getting back to painting again after organising a re-print of her self-published book on adoption stories, which was originally launched at the end of 2008.
"I did a series of paintings on the adoption issue, which have been combined with short stories on how people have been affected by being adopted in their lives," she said.
"That has taken up a lot of my focus until now."
Mrs Fitzpatrick left a career as a graphic designer, working in illustration and photography, to fulfill her long-term goal of working in the fine arts.
"I wanted to express my own creativity -- not just other people's work -- and I need to have that opportunity for personal expression.
"It's a long road to success though."
She works predominantly with pastels and acrylics and loves portraiture, although she is well-known for her wildlife art.
Entries for the 2009 Mary Valley Art Festival are well up on last year, and organiser Jan Watt said the committee was on track to deliver another successful exhibition under the banner of the Mary Valley Show Society.
Judging takes place on Tuesday in preparation for the gala launch on Thursday when Member for Gympie David Gibson will host the award presentations.
Sections include the $1000 "Celebrating Mary" theme, and there is a $300 prize for the acquisitive section "On the road -- or in the shed".
In total $5000 will be awarded to artists who enter the prestigious festival.
Cr Watt said the festival had developed an excellent reputation since it started and the Imbil Public Hall is open for viewing from September 4-6, from 10am-3pm each day.
She also reminded people that the festival concluded with an excellent afternoon of complimentary wine and cheese for the People's Choice Award at 2pm on Sunday, September 6, sponsored by Borumba Deer Park.
"You are invited to come along from 1pm, to applaud the final award winners and celebrate close of the festival," she said.
Graphic to the right: PASSIONATE ARTIST: Victoria Fitzpatrick prepares for the Mary Valley Art Festival which kicks off on September 3 with a gala opening and awards presentation.
Imbil Public Hall, Imbil
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