By Design, festival is growing

March 08, 2018

Artworks by Splinter Contemporary Artists are now on display in the Eastbank Centre foyer.

La Trobe University’s head of Shepparton campus Sue Nalder, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum, La Trobe professor Sue Martin, Greater Shepparton City Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and Shepparton Festival board chair Fiona Smolenaars.

Members of the Splinter Contemporary Artists’ group gather to celebrate the opening of their 20-year restrospective and book launch.

New Shepparton Festival creative director Crag Carrick, Aboriginal elder Leon Saunders and Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum.

Splinter Contemporary Artists president Meg Doller opens the group’s 20-year retrospective exhibition.

Greater Shepparton City Councillor Chris Hazelman with Craig Chadwick and council marketing communications manager Fiona Le Gassick.

More than 120 people attended the launch of the 22nd Shepparton Festival at the Eastbank Centre on Monday evening.

Festival chairwoman Fiona Smolenaars said this year’s program on the theme By Design listed 54 events over 17 days — 10 more events than last year.

Ms Smolenaars said the past year had seen the role of creative director being handed over from Ros Abercrombie to the new director Crag Carrick.

‘‘We actually saw this as a transitional year after Ros Abercrombie left, but we have actually grown — so that was a surprise,’’ she said.

Monday night’s festival opening also saw the opening of Splinter Contemporary Artists 20-Year Retrospective exhibition and the launch of a new book celebrating two decades of the group’s creative output.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said the Shepparton Festival was now the longest-running regional arts festival in Victoria.

‘‘Twenty-two years is an amazing achievement — it means a significant proportion of our community has experienced an arts festival every year during their whole life,’’ Cr O’Keeffe said.

‘‘We really are creating a community conversation for arts and culture,’’ she said.

The 2018 Shepparton Festival runs until March18.

To book tickets and for the full program, go to www.sheppartonfestival. org.au

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