The Victor Harbor Rotary Club Art Show has again lived up to its reputation as one of the country’s biggest and best community art events of its kind.
Now in its 35th year, and with 620 artists with a broad range of skills collectively submitting 1550 entries for the show, at Warland Reserve from Friday, January 10-Saturday, January 18, this drawcard to the town is a winner.
The opening night is invitational, and among the guests will be the 2014 judge – acclaimed seascape and portraiture artist Regina Hona, of Glen Iris, Melbourne.
Particularly known for her inspiring paintings along the exhilarating Mornington Peninsula, Regina is no newcomer to our show having previously entered, and earning success with the sponsors’ award.
As in previous years, the identity of the judge was kept secret until the entries had been finalised so not to be influenced by his/her favourite medium.
Regina said she would be looking for technical ability as well as the skill of the artist.
“Usually the paintings that stand out have got that ‘wow’ factor to them; what draws you to them initially,” she said. “The mood, composition… there are certainly lots of things that I look at, including the framing as well. Basically, the artist needs to have a good understanding of their medium as well as having the technical competency in rendering a subject.
“Depending on where the successful artist is at in art, winning this award can help him or her go somewhere and study, or allow the person to delve a bit more into their area of art. It would vary so much, depending on the artist. For some, it is helping to pay for a mortgage.”
Regina said every young artist needed support, and she was so grateful for receiving it along her journey. “You also need to have that passion,” she said.
“If you have a passion you must follow your dream, and I think specialising in a subject makes you more notorious in the area. Most artists can paint anything, but to stand out you must specialise, whether it’s the medium, the type of style that you do, or it’s in your subject.
“I tend to focus more on water personally, but I love portraiture and I just cannot let it go so I do both.
“My mother always encouraged me when I was young. The Heidelberg School also inspired me a lot because being a realist painter – although I probably call myself a contemporary impressionist – I focus more on the older masters.
“Having said that, there are some beautiful modern painters’ works that I love, and there’s one in particular from America – Chinese-born Zhaoming Wu, who does some beautiful figurative work.”
Regina rated our show as a very professionally-ran event, well-organised and with the ability to attract good quality art work.
“To me that is so important, and it was one of the reasons why I was happy to accept to judge,” she said.
Regina said the passion for art was always there when she was young.
“I did a lot of drawing and sketching,” she said. Yet, when it came to choosing a career initially it wasn’t art, but becoming a private secretary.
Upon reflection, Regina said her secretarial skills were actually a wonderful asset because they helped her to run a successful art business.
Like the previous 34 Victor Harbor Rotary Club art shows, the event – put on by a magnificent Rotary team of volunteers – has again lured its share of budding artists who set out on one career path and found art along the way. It is what makes it such an amazing event – it takes art to the people. Obviously, it also encourages brilliant artists worthy of judging to return.