A barbed wire emu stands comfortably among a soft painting of a pensive young boy and a pair of portraits of a cow and an alien for Inverell’s 2018 Art Prize.
The prize has grown in size and talent each year, with entrants from four states in 11 different categories this year.
“It’s an exhibition that I think will take people ages to walk around, and they’ll come back and they’ll come back and they’ll come back,” Inverell Art Society president Christina Smith said.
Art Gallery manager Jo Williams agreed, and said many of the pieces had a story that invited a second look.
A famous water colourist and a well known South Australian artist are among the entrants in the special section, called Interiors.
Several artists have poured their talent into pieces to be auctioned off in support of local farmers.
“The committee and the artists wanted it to stay locally as best it could,” Ms Smith said.
“The artists have been so generous,” Ms Williams added. The Art Society received over 20 donations, more than they are able to auction off in one night, with extra works to be auctioned by the Red Cross at a later date.
The official opening of the Inverell Art Prize is at 6.30pm on Saturday, September 15. Entry is $15 and the bar will be operating. Ten per cent of the the door fee will go towards drought relief.
The night, opened by the member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, will include the announcement of the prize winners, the council’s acquisition piece, and the auction to support farmers. The Sapphire City Festival queen entrants will also be presented and receive their sashes on the night.
The gallery will also be open this Sunday from 10am to 1pm.