It was standing room only last Friday on opening night of the three-day Winmalee Artfest, Winmalee High School’s major annual fundraising event.
Hundreds of people filed into the school’s hall to enjoy more than 430 artworks by 100 artists, accompanied by wine and canapes, a Welcome to Country by Uncle Graeme Cooper, music by school students and guest performer Afro Moses, an address by Ernie Dingo and the announcement of the major prize winners.
“It was the biggest opening night attendance that I can remember,” event organiser and P & C president Trish Doyle said.
“Twenty-five per cent of money from every artwork sold — and 100 per cent from sales of [the 35] donated artworks — will go directly towards supporting learning at the school,” Ms Doyle said.
“Which is even more significant this year, given last October’s devastating bushfires in the area.”
Artfest entrant Caitlin Hughes, a mosaic artist who lost her Winmalee home in the fires, made a moving speech, thanking everyone for attending.
“One of my favourite sayings is ‘bloom where you are planted’ and looking around this room tonight, I can see the local art scene is blooming.”
The major prize went to Leanne Tobin’s Untitled, a charcoal drawing profile of an indigenous woman that fills the frame.
For the full list of senior and junior Winmalee Artfest winners, visit www.facebook.com/WinmaleeHighSchool.