Tyers Art Festival marks 40 years

Tessa Randello

All roads lead to Tyers from tomorrow as the town celebrates a milestone for its annual art festival.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event, which will exhibit 580 works from more than 200 artists from around Victoria.

The Tyers Art Festival starts with the opening gala night tomorrow from 8pm and event director Peter Harrison is ready for a busy three days.

“We are excited more than 200 artists have supported this year’s Tyers Art Exhibition as we celebrate our 40th year,” Mr Harrison said.

The festival exhibits a range of works using all mediums such as acrylic, oil, water colour, pastel, drawing, mixed media, scratch art and photography.

The exhibition will be open on Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday (10am-3pm).

The event is complemented by the Tyers Music, Food and Wine Festival at the Tyers Primary School on Sunday, which Mr Harrison said was an extension of the craft festival that used to be held on the Sunday and has now grown to be a standalone event.

“We were looking at ways we could add to the art festival and add another dimension without increasing the workload, so we decided to change the approach and add the Music, Food and Wine Festival,” he said.

Sunday’s festivities will feature live music, children’s entertainment, local food trucks, Avon Ridge ciders and Gippsland wineries.

“We still have a lot of the same stores … but now we have a wider range of food and wine,” Mr Harrison said.

Judges will inspect the artwork on display at the Tyers Art Festival today to select the winners.

“We are giving away $17,000 worth of prizes including $2000 for best in show and $500 for major categories like acrylic paintings,” Mr Harrison said.

Josephine Ahlers will be the feature artist this year displaying her work over the weekend and one of her stunning pieces is a raffle prize.

Mr Harrison said Ms Ahlers’ work was perfect for the festival.

“She won first prize a few years ago at this art festival and did well last year when she entered,” he said.

“Her work is mesmerising and stunning, people either loved it or were shocked by it.

“That’s why we really wanted her for the festival, to have something that is challenging and interesting and got people talking.”

The work of artists aged 18 years and over on display at the festival will be available for sale.