HELLO.

Welcome to Western Riverina Arts - a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to develop, support and promote the arts and culture in Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera & Murrumbidgee. 
We hope you enjoy your stay!

2014 in review

Let's look back on 2014!

The year began with a project that would become one of the most popular stories on our blog: the Leeton photography competition. This initiative was one designed to encourage participation in the arts, which was a theme through many of our projects in 2014.

February saw the opening of our Reimagining exhibition in Wagga Wagga, as well as a massive Ken Done painting in Leeton Library.

The Automata exhibition opened in Leeton at The Roxy Gallery, which drew together three friends to explore the subconscious in various media and drew record crowds, particularly through the support of Parkview Primary students -- some of who were visiting a gallery for the first time.

March put Narrandera in focus with the John O'Brien Festival celebrating a previously unpublished work by the poet, as well as contributions from local poets in the region. The Festival also featured a CAD Factory performance that was enabled by the Country Arts Support Program.

Western Riverina Arts also hosted a workshop in Narrandera with Robyn Ayres from Arts Law. Griffith-based artists Melanie Baulch and Kristy Brown were the first to exhibit in our windows this year, while Mark Saddler joined the growing gallery at the Leeton Visitor Information Centre.

In April Western Riverina-based artist Vic McEwan was the recipient of the inaugural NSW Fellowship for Regional Artists, valued at $30,000. It was a beaut result for a hard-working local artist.

The winner of our Leeton photography competition was Rocco Pirrottina, who also got well-earned recognition from Digital Photography magazine this year as well as first place in the 2014 Epson International Panoramic Awards.

Another winner in Leeton was painter Peter Kopilow, who won the Western Riverina Arts' sponsored open category in the 2014 Penny Paniz Arts Memorial Competition. The winning painting of Yanco would be seen in Griffith and Leeton as part of the Western Riverina Arts Trail.

In May selections from Griffith-based photographer Marissa Lico's 'Familiar Strangers' series were displayed in our windows. while Ivanka Jakopec exhibited in Griffith. That month also saw Linda Kopilow open her first show at The Roxy Gallery and Melanie Baulch run workshops.

June saw Griffith take the spotlight with a focus on First Friday Live and the opening of Hape Kiddle's Bidgee Studio, the latter becoming the most popular story on our blog this year. Spoiler alert! Bidgee Studio would host FFL's premiere outdoor concert in December. Back to June, Sarah McEwan brought new work to Griffith -- which will soon be seen in Sydney.

During July Author Jesse Blackadder visited Narrandera to discuss creative writing. Singer Fanny Lumsden played a night in Grong Grong with her band the Thrillseekers and singer Ruby Boots. Lumsden shared insights into songwriting and promotion at a WRA sponsored workshop before the show.

During August The CAD Factory announced their regional partnerships and the Leeton Town Band sought unusual musical instruments. The annual conversation about creativity in the Riverina, Dream Big, returned to Narrandera to host our third conference. And, an innovative CASP project taught Kandinsky to kids at East Griffith Preschool.

In September The CAD Factory joined the Strong family and George Main from the National Museum to undertake a 'walk of healing and hope'.  Leeton-based artist Ann Rayment opened an exhibition in Griffith, as part of the Western Riverina art trail. One of her paintings would travel on to Sydney, as part of Regional Arts NSW's fundraising for Artlands 2016.

October saw the formation of the Riverina Men's Choir in Leeton, another project supported through CASP. Carmela Kozlowski brought a new collection of artworks to our windows, while we brought Uh Oh Tony to Leeton. Riverina Local Land Services supported our Eco Deco project for local school kids to work with environmental materials to create art.

November seems like only yesterday, when we held a workshop on crowd-funding with Suzanne Nguyen -- who exhibited in Griffith earlier in the year. We also announced our big project for 2015: For Prosperity's Sake.

So, now it's December already. We've just helped run a series of dance workshops in schools.

That's it for 2014 at Western Riverina Arts. For more reflection, see our CEO Derek Motion's blog and that of our Communications Officer, Jason Richardson.

And tell us about your plans for 2015.

Dance workshops with Linda Luke

Top five stories for 2014