Maitland Regional Art Gallery has four wonderful new exhibits

 Fiona Foley, HHH #6, Ultrachrome print on paper, ed.8/15, 101 x76cm, 2004. Donated under the Australian Governments Cultural Gifts program by Pat Corrigan

Fiona Foley, HHH #6, Ultrachrome print on paper, ed.8/15, 101 x76cm, 2004. Donated under the Australian Governments Cultural Gifts program by Pat Corrigan

Winter is normally a great time to spend days indoors and away from the cold but not for Maitland locals who enjoyed an unseasonably warm weekend for the Aroma Festival.

Sylvia Ray, Harp on Lily, Earthenware clay, wood and musical strings, 56x88x29cm, 2011

Sylvia Ray, Harp on Lily, Earthenware clay, wood and musical strings, 56x88x29cm, 2011

Not only was the weekend a buzz of coffee and chocolate, but this year’s festival was also a prime time to celebrate the local creative art scene.

The Hunter Arts Network (HAN) held its inaugural Art Bazaar pop up sale that was held on the Saturday from 10am-3pm.

Arts and crafts filled the shared zone of the Levee and the area was bursting with color. It was a vibrant, eclectic mix of all the creative fields that you could imagine.

In general terms it was a beautiful collection of art and craft for old and young alike to enjoy and appreciate and it was a real highlight of the local talent and enthusiasm for the art movement.

The centre of the art scene of Maitland is, as always, Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) – a gallery of which this city can be justifiably proud. 

The end of July marked the beginning of four new exhibits opening at MRAG.

Anne-Maree Hunter | ATLAS: Artists’ Books, Artists’ Objects and Lithographs is a celebration of the beauty and the helpfulness of maps and topographical documents.

Maps have always been a thing of practicality and a tool for us to use to locate, explore and discover but within their practicality there is also a beauty and mysterious quality that intrigues and inspires the mind.

Gaye Shield and Julie Hosking | Fertile Ground explores the notion of family ties forgotten and rediscovered.

Through the exploration of landscape and journey, these two artists trace their newfound joint family history throughout their art practice.

Sylvia Ray | Play highlights the importance of play in a healthy and creative lifestyle.

Scientific research has proven that in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable lifestyle play must have an active role in our day-to-day activities.

Anne-Maree Hunter, Precious – Devils Marbles, Mixed media, 8x8x7cm, 2016.

Anne-Maree Hunter, Precious – Devils Marbles, Mixed media, 8x8x7cm, 2016.

Art after all is an expression of play and Sylvia uses this expression within her work to focus on this importance of play that we sometimes miss in our busy contemporary lives.

Fiona Foley HHH | from the MRAG Collection is a witty yet pointed exploration into the still racially charged hatred that soils our communities throughout the world.

 With the current state of affairs in the US with the hate crimes being committed in relation to the white supremacy party this current exhibition at MRAG gives an insight into the complexities of race relations.

It also looks at how we all must examine ourselves and the way in which we interact with one another.

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