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The 2019 Ocean Shores Art Expo is a three – day cultural event open from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th August, 10 – 4pm at the Ocean Shores Public School hall. Awards Ceremony is 7pm Friday night. Details at www.osartexpo.com. A unique feature of the Art Expo, is that artists create work based on a theme. The 2019 theme “Celebrating a Moment” was chosen as it is the jubilee year of the foundation of Ocean Shores. Prizes of $8400 include the special $1000 Jubilee prize to commemorate this community milestone & the $2000 Vale Award. The Awards ceremony on Friday night will feature a “mini” Vivid interactive light show and music by Dell & Raven. Sunday afternoon from 1.30 – 3pm features performances by the Dangerously Poetic Press, Mana Aloha Hula Dance Troupe and local choirs. This is now regular artistic event at the Expo, broadening its cultural appeal.

Some history –  The Ocean Shores Art Expo began life in 2004, a collaborative project between a group of local artists and the Mullumbimby/Brunswick heads Lions Club. Two major aims of this group were to build a sense of community in Ocean Shores and to celebrate and encourage the work of local artists. The first exhibition held in the Ocean Shores Community centre had 40 paintings capturing the Brunswick River Bridge prior to its demolition. An important feature of this Art Expo was the inclusion of artworks by students in the Brunswick Valley Schools. Fast forward to 2018 and the 15th Art Expo, now a three day event held annually in the last weekend in August, from 10am to 4pm Friday to Sunday in the Ocean Shores Public School hall. It displayed 300 adult entries and 320 student works from 14 Byron Shire schools on the theme “Treasures.” Awards night attracted over 350 people and across the weekend over 1000 people viewed the exhibition. Catering was again by the Mullumbimby High School Hospitality teachers and students. On Saturday, the Ocean Shores Public School holds its “Festival of the Imagination” drawing a substantial crowd, a joint event with mutual benefits for both organisations.

In recent years, when financially able, the committee has donated funds to local community organisations. These included funds to support school art programs, to organisations supporting young people, the homeless, art programs for people with disabilities and Yallakool landcare group. This year’s funding supported a workshop for talented High School art students. The Ocean Shores Art Expo is now firmly established as a major cultural event in the north of the Byron Shire. In 2018 it was supported by 54 local businesses & wonderful support from 100 community volunteers. The small, very dedicated team of who comprise the Art Expo Committee would welcome new members who wish to be part of this terrific community event. A detailed profile of the Ocean Shores Art Expo, including information about contacts can be found at the website www.osartexpo.com.

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