The annual Eurobodalla River of Art Festival, opening soon on 20 May, will showcase the creative talents that thrive on the stunning South Coast region of NSW.

From Batemans Bay to Bermagui, local artists are excitedly putting their finishing touches on new exhibitions and getting ready to open their studios to the public.

Festival Chair Sue Barford says ‘Take this opportunity to meet our region’s contemporary visual artists and see how they capture unique views of our coastal environment through their landscapes, seascapes and other works.

‘Explore diverse media including etchings, drawings, prints, photographs, watercolours, paintings, sculptures, pottery, textiles, wordworks, mosaics and jewellery.’

Once again, the annual Digressionists exhibition at Surf Beach will feature innovative works by Grace Paleg’s students. Further south, the Priory Gallery at Bingie Point has a kids’ exhibition called Chrysalis that showcases the region’s next generation of artists.

Discover artists like Cheryl Davidson, who draws inspiration from ancient Aboriginal creation stories told by her Grandfather and Elders.

As well as open studios and galleries, Art on Parade will feature 40 exhibitions in regional shops, cafes and businesses. Choose from handcrafted baskets to botanical arts, quirky ceramic sculptures to artworks constructed from old vinyl records, and sonic fascinators made from recycled hubcaps and electric guitars.

New to the program this year, the Art on the Waterways project has invited locals and visitors alike to create and photograph ephemeral sculptures made from the weathered remains of timber, seaweed and flotsam washed up on beaches or riverbanks.

Textiles always loom large during the River of Art Festival. You can sign-up for hands-on workshops in crochet and felting, or browse gorgeous scarves, beautiful wall hangings, bespoke hats and other handmade creations.

The Eurobodalla Fibre and Textiles Group will once again present one of the festival highlights – the annual Wearable Art Fashion Parade, better known as The Beastly’s. Themed Queen of the Desert, the 2016 show promises to wow audiences with provocative artworks and distinctive designer garments. Tickets for this event are selling fast.

Bird lovers will delight in specialist exhibitions in South Durras and Bodalla. And of course, the 2016 Eurobodalla River of Art Prize will be display at the SoART Gallery in Narooma. But as Festival Chair and textile artist Sue Barford says, ‘Our 10-day festival offers arts lovers much more than a visual extravaganza. The line-up includes film screenings, live music and theatre, poetry performances, story-telling and community events.

With mellow days to go exploring and cool nights to enjoy intimate performances, the NSW South Coast is the perfect place to visit at this time of the year.

Check out the program now and map out your festival trail by visiting www.riverofart.com.au.

The 2016 Eurobodalla River of Art Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government as part of its Regional Flagship Events Program.
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Available for interview: Sue Barford, Chair Eurobodalla River of Art: Mobile 0439 322431 Media enquiries: Megan Fraser, Mobile 0411 442587, email: meganlfraser@bigpond.com