Being part of the Surf Coast Arts Trail can be a stepping stone for local artists, just ask Jude Morgan.
The Torquay oil painter made her Arts Trail debut in 2016, thanks to encouragement from local sculptor Cinnamon Stephens.
“I thank Cinnamon for it, and I similarly would like to encourage anyone who is considering applying to do it,” Ms Morgan said. “It is a great experience and can open doors to other events and exhibitions. You don’t have to have your own studio as there are community spaces available to share with other artists, and I can assure you that on my first Arts Trail I felt really welcome as a newcomer.”
Artist registrations are open for the 2023 Surf Coast Arts Trail, which will be held 5 and 6 August. The trail welcomes all artists, from hobbyists to professionals, and all mediums: painting, sculpture, glassware, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and so much more.
The diversity of artists is evident through last year’s trail which welcomed 11 community groups including SPARK in Deans Marsh, basket makers, fibre artists and sculptors The Weaverbirds, and a U3A SurfCoast exhibition. Eight galleries also opened their doors, from In The Skies Art and Music in Lorne, to Surf Coast Gallery in Torquay and Salt and Pepper Gallery in Bellbrae.
Forty private studios featured established artists such as Natalie Martin, Ian Westwood, Pat McKenzie, and Ms Stephens.
Councillor Rose Hodge said the Council-run Surf Coast Arts Trail was an ideal opportunity for local artists to display their work and to open their studios and venues.
“Local and international trailgoers will have an opportunity to see first-hand why the Surf Coast is one of regional Australia’s top creative hotspots,” Cr Hodge said. “We hope that momentum will build from last year’s trail, which sprang back to life post-pandemic with more than 200 artists across 60 venues.”
Artist registrations for the 2023 Surf Coast Arts Trail are open until Wednesday 26 April. Artists can register for the event via surfcoast.vic.gov.au/SurfCoastArtsTrail. The website has key information about the event, including registration fees.
Participating artists will receive a welcome pack, invitation to join the 2023 Surf Coast Arts Trail Facebook group, directional signage, and promotional material. They will also have an opportunity to feature in the Arts Trail Taster Show – a month long exhibition in July.
As an artist who exhibits on the trail at Surf Coast Community Arts Facility in Bellbrae, Ms Morgan showcases pieces that are often inspired by Surf Coast scenery.
“I am drawn to painting beach scenes especially waves, as well as European street scenes,” she said. “I try to capture the subject that I am painting realistically and then enhance the scene by accentuating the colours I see.