Exhibition News

It’s all go for the big weekend!

2012 art prize posterThe countdown has started to the 14th annual Coraki Art Prize, this weekend.

Preparations are well in hand for the art prize exhibition opening and presentatiion night, on Friday.

Opening night is Friday, October 26, at 6.30 pm. Exhibition days are Saturday, October 27, 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, October 28, 10 am to 3.30 pm.

Tickets are selling fast for the Coraki Art Prize 2012 Raffle, one of the art prize’s major fund-raising projects.

Collector’s Start-up Kit

As in the previous three years, the first prize in the raffle is a collector’s start-up kit consisting of a suite of art works by Northern Rivers artists who have established and  successful national and international art practices.

The collection is a broad and rich selection of works, which is a fantastic start-up kit for collecting Australian contemporary art.

For raffle tickets, email or purchase them at the show this weekend.

The raffle will be drawn at 2 pm, on Friday, December 14, at the Coraki Rural Transaction Centre, Richmond Terrace, Coraki.

Winners will be notified by telephone and also will be listed on our web site.

Tickets are $2 each, or three for $5.

The Coraki Art Prize Committee would like to thank all the contributors to the 2012 Coraki Art Prize Raffle.

News Uncategorized

Community rallies to the cause

Melva Thompson before the opening of the 2010 Coraki Art Prize.

The Coraki community is rallying behind the art prize and organiser Melva Thompson.
Melva is in the John Flynn Hospital, at Tugun, Queensland, after suffering a stroke about a month ago.
Her daughter, Ana, said today that former art prize organiser Kate Welch had kindly agreed to take over the running of this year’s show.
“We have received many generous offers of help and are very grateful to all those who have offered,” Ana said.
“Any who can help are invited by Kate and George Thompson to come to a meeting, at the Coraki Youth Hall, on Bridge Street, at 2.30 pm this Saturday, September 29.”
Ana said her mother was transferred from Lismore Base Hospital last Friday.
“The decision to move her was made because we want her to get the best care possible and John Flynn Hospital has a dedicated stroke clinic, as well as providing acute care and also facilitates the rehabilitation she will need,” Ana said.
“We thank everyone in the emergency department and intensive care at Lismore Base from the bottom of our hearts for the care and dedicated attention that was given to Mum.
“We met so many amazing individuals during the time we spent there.
“Mum is still in ICU at John Flynn as there is a need to closely monitor her ability to swallow and breathe. However, she still has plenty to say, regardless of how difficult it has been for her to speak!
“She has also maintained sonic hearing and there is no getting away with any whispering in the corner!
“She loves hearing all the many messages that we pass on from those who have been thinking of her and is sad that the hospital isn’t closer for people to visit.
“She is well loved, there is no doubt about that! Thank you, everyone, for your support.”
Kate said that Melva and the rest of the committee had already put so much effort into this year’s event, she couldn’t let all that work go to waste.
“Melva is so passionate about the show; she would have been devastated if it was cancelled,” Kate said.
“People from across the district have been calling to offer their assistance.”
Kate can be contacted by phone on 6683 2325 or through the email link on this page.

– Paul Shaw


‘The Coraki Connection Exhibition’

A new art exhibition hoping to help connect the village of Coraki to the city of Casino opened at the Platypus Gallery on Tuesday evening.

‘The Coraki Connection’ features work from emerging and established artists from and around the village.

From Vanessa Kapeen’s dot paintings to Ana Thompson’s vibrant works, the artists’ stories all contribute to a collective narrative about belonging – or seeking to belong – to the place they choose to call home.

Opening the exhibition, Coraki Art Prize Chair Melva Thompson explained how the different works, in varying media, all touched on a common theme.

“We’d originally wanted to give the artists the theme of ‘belonging’ but in the end chose to ask them to submit something that showed their connection to Coraki,” Mrs Thompson said. “As you go in to the exhibition you will see on one side how photographer Jimmy Malecki chose his beloved Bungawalbyn and how Aboriginal artist Vanessa Kapeen uses her art to find a clear space in a town where it’s not always easy to feel welcome if you are Aboriginal.

“Then moving to the other side you can see works that speak about the difficulties of belonging.

“Through the whole exhibition you can see how we achieved both our aims.”

Ms Kapeen grew up in Coraki, is a mother and works at Coraki Primary School. She won the emerging artist’s award at the 2011 Coraki Art Prize.

Photographer Jimmy Malecki selected his images to show a farmer trying different approaches to regenerating land near the Bungawalbyn.

Emerging artist Ana Thompson’s emotive and confronting series draws on a sense of ‘other’, contrasting with her more gentle work ‘If only you could speak to me’.

Christine Spedding’s stark and sensual works in black and white provide a stunning backdrop to Michael Penklis’s colourful, delicate and bold jewellery while Nikky Morgan-Smith’s whimsical ‘Tall stories’ are sure to bring smiles.

‘The Coraki Connection’ will run until May 17 at the Platypus Gallery, 86 Centre St, Casino, then move to the Casino Community Cultural Centre from May 22- July 1.

Showing their commitment to the village, members of the Coraki Voice donated their time and cooking skills, delighting gallery visitors with delicious local food.

Richmond Valley Council tourism staff supported and helped to arrange the event and exhibition, which it is hoped will generate more local people venturing outside their back gardens to have a look over the fence at neighbouring villages.

From left: Diane Mackie: Janelle Saffin, Joyce Skinner & Bev Hinton.
From left: Ana Thompson (painter), Col Sullivan (Mayor Richmond Valley Council), Vanessa Kapeen (painter), Melva Thompson (President Coraki Art Prize), Michael Penklis (jeweller), and Jimmy Malecki (photographer) in the background are some of Vanessa’s paintings.
Left: Melva Thompson (President Coraki Art Prize), right: Ana Thompson (painter) with one of her paintings.
Event News

Coraki Art Prize Opening night

The 2011 Art Prize is one week away, we hope you will all join us at opening night to find out who are the winners of this years prizes! It’s always a great night to celebrate local creative talent and this year we have floor talks by the judges, a light supper catered by Catfish Cafe and live music by the duo from the Romaniacs! Friday 28th October – 6.45pm at the Coraki Conference Centre, and the exhibition is open for viewing over the weekend. Here’s all the info…see you there!


Delivery of works…one week to go!

One week to go and we are busily getting things organised over here in Coraki for the 2011 Coraki Art Prize Opening!

Thank YOU to all the artists who have entered this year, FYI the delivery times are: Tuesday 5-8pm & Wednesday 8-5pm. If you have work entered in Sculpture, Printmaking, Drawing please drop your work into Brandon Hall (Coraki Anglican Hall) Q.Elizabeth Drive, those in All other categories please bring your work to the Coraki Conference Centre, Union Street (behind the hospital). Don’t forget that all 2D works must be ready to be hung, 3D works freestanding…

We are looking forward to a great show this year and look forward to seeing your work!



Entry deadline has been extended!

GOOD NEWS! If you were hoping to get your entry in to the Coraki Art Prize this year,

we have officially extended the entry deadline until Wednesday 19th October.

Hopefully this will give you more time to get those entries in. Don’t forget – you just have to get us the entry form by this date and just pay the entry fee on delivery of your works to the venue during the drop off times! It’s that easy…fill out the online entry form and email it back – or post your form and get your entry in.



News Sections & Prizes

Art Prize Judge’s Coraki connection

The Director of Art Services at Parliament House in Canberra, Kylie Scroope, has accepted an invitation from the Coraki Art Prize Committee to judge this year’s Coraki Art Prize.  Kylie is responsible for managing the Parliament House Art Collection, of around 5000 items, including approximately 3000 contemporary Australian artworks.  She has previously worked in a number of roles at other national cultural institutions including the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Archives of Australia.

Kylie said she was delighted to be a judge at the Coraki Art Prize, not least because she was actually born in Coraki!  She attended primary school in Lismore and still has family living around Coraki and Woodburn.

This year’s Coraki Art Prize exhibition will be held on the last weekend in October at the Coraki Conference Centre and Brandon Hall.  Judging and the awarding of prizes will take place at the Conference Centre from 6.45 pm on Friday 28 October.  There will be over $9,000 in prize money across all categories – painting, drawing, aboriginal art, printmaking, sculpture, photography, youth art and this year’s new category of ‘Coraki and District: its People and Places’.  There will be a ‘Best in Show’ prize of $2,000.

Entry is now open! Get yours in before the closing date of October 14th

BEST IN SHOW winner will take home $2000 in what must be one of the best non acquisitive, small town prizes around the Northern Rivers. Last year’s winning entry went to a fascinating piece of ceramics called “Riding the Economic Storm”. Straight after judging, some of the judges and committee members were vying for the right to buy the winning piece. It was decided that the only fair thing to do was to auction it at the Presentation of Prizes. This was a popular move and great fun. And Annette Garland gained double the sale price she had on it.

Annette stated,” Winning ‘Best in Show ‘in the Coraki Art Prize has been an absolute honour, to be selected from so many talented artists of the region is a privilege. The reaction of the public to my piece has been overwhelming to someone who has had little previous exposure. It has been a pleasure to produce an item that others enjoy and connect with.”

So to all artists YOU HAVE TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT. So fill in your entry forms soon.

Entries close FRIDAY 14th OCTOBER.




News Sections & Prizes

A new prize category in this years Art Prize!

This year’s show will feature a new category – Coraki and District: its People and Places.

We’re hoping this will attract paintings, drawings and photographs inspired by the wonderful landscapes and natural features of our area, its houses, barns, bridges and public buildings and most of all the people who live here.

In the last two shows there were some great paintings and photos which would have been perfect for entry in this category, including photos of local identities Roy Gollan and Ray Hunt. So look around, get out your paintbrushes, pencils and cameras and put in an entry in this new category in this year’s Coraki Art Prize and you could be in the running for the prizes of $300 (first prize) and $200 (second).

Event Exhibition News Workshops

Exhibition encourages aspiring young artists


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Last Saturday afternoon at the Youth Hall in Coraki those who gathered to celebrate the work of our young artists were really knocked out by the standard of work on display.

This work was produced in the one -day workshops which were run by the Coraki Art Prize and funded from a grant from Arts NSW. It was great to see the students appreciate how their work was displayed and in the case of the painting workshop to see their work displayed alongside that of their teacher, Digby Moran. Wonder of all wonders both sets of work complemented each other. That must be a great feeling for the young artists who admired Digby’s work so much!

The students also enjoyed seeing the work from the workshop they didn’t attend. Many from the Painting workshop expressed an interest in joining Darren Bryant in Printmaking next time. Both teachers said that the participants were a pleasure to teach, not only for their talent but for their wholehearted participation and politeness.


It was great to see parents, grandmothers, friends of students and lovers of Art attend the exhibition. Sales were boosted when two wonderful women from Lismore came later in the afternoon. They bought 3 paintings between them. They said they had been looking everywhere for work like this and had not been able to find it till now. High praise for our young artists!

Thanks to everyone who helped make these shows happen and a special thanks to the people who supported the young artists by attending on Saturday. They really appreciated it.

Many students are already asking when our next workshop is going to take place?

And we do have more workshops happening at Coraki Primary School in October. This time they are funded by a Richmond Valley Council grant. Joanna Kambourian, a Visual Artist and Coraki Resident, and Wendy Powitt, and winner of the Sculpture section last year, will work with grade 4,5 &6 to produce collaboration works that will be exhibited at the Art prize opening at the end of October.

Also congratulations to Coraki Art Prize committee member, Ana Thompson, who was runner up in the Tursa Open Painting Prize at the Bentley Art Prize. Once again, Coraki has done well in the Bentley.

by Melva Thompson

News Sections & Prizes

Are you entering in this years Coraki Art Prize? Entry forms are out!

Entry forms are ready to go, the printer has the files and the paper version will be out and about around the area very very soon! Unfortunately we can’t post them out individually but we will keep you updated as to where the forms will be distributed so you can pick one up!

However, this year to make it easier, we have gone one step further and developed an online entry form! So if you just can’t wait to pick one up, then click here to download, fill out and submit your entry by email. Don’t forget to check out this year’s fabulous sections and prizes! Any questions? Just email us at

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