Judy Vergison, Events Coordinator, Bulletin 1/2022, March 2022

Glebe Art Show banner on display at the Glebe Art Walk (photo: Judy Vergison)

The Glebe Art Show aims to encourage local artists and has been successfully held each year since 1997, except for the last two years when it was cancelled due to COVID-19. The Glebe Art Show Committee looked for other ways to creatively support local artists and for the community to engage with artists at work.

Innovative people on the Glebe Art Show Committee came up with the brilliant idea of inviting artists to work en plein air as part of the first Glebe Art Walk at four locations along the Glebe foreshore:

  1. The old Glebe incinerator
  2. Bellevue Cottage
  3. Pope John Paul VI Reserve – end of Glebe Point Rd
  4. Jubilee Park near the Allan Truss bridge over Johnston Creek

The focus was on local artists, with Sydney-wide artists also welcome to be part of the creative event on Sunday 6 February 2022 (from 10 am to 4 pm). Artists were invited to spend as much or little time as they had available and register on the day to keep it as simple as possible.

So how did it go? Glebe Art Show President, Peter Griffen said that

The Committee was very thrilled with the success of our first Glebe Art Walk. Carol Yuen, our new Secretary, really led the charge in making it happen – getting Council approvals, organising volunteers and setting everything up for a great day. Over 50 artists braved the uncertain weather to paint, sketch or draw and also to enjoy chatting with other artists and passers-by. Given the buzz it’s created with artists and the Glebe local community there’s strong talk of making the Glebe Art Walk a regular ‘equinox event’ being held in Spring and Autumn. It seems that many are very keen to do it again and we are planning a second one in September 2022, more details will follow closer to the date.

I am so pleased I went on the Glebe Art Walk and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the artists at work; and I took the opportunity to talk with a few. It was such an engaging and connecting experience. A big shout out to the Glebe Art Show team for coming up with idea and for setting it up so well.

Local artist’s experience of the 1st Art Walk

Below is part of my conversation with local artist Rita Horth who was sketching and painting under the beautiful Morton Bay fig in Pope John Paul VI Reserve. Rita is a long time Glebe local, having lived here for the last 20 years and also as a child. She recently exhibited at the Shop Gallery in Glebe Point Rd and she will enter the 2022 Glebe Art Show.

It really lit my fire to be drawing and painting on site with fellow artists. I haven’t been out and painted with other artists for about five or six years. I love going on artists’ camps and seeing how others work. Even though I could easily wander down and paint on the Point at any time on my own, I haven’t done this for such a long time. It’s not the same painting by yourself as being around other artists – that’s what had me so excited being part of the Glebe Art Walk.

The chance to paint with fellow artists got me down there on the Rozelle Bay foreshore, meeting other artists to talk ‘colour and form’ and also meeting locals, even if they don’t paint. As I walked along the foreshore to get a coffee it was great to stop and see what the other artists were doing and to be able to talk to them about their works.

I picked a spot to paint under the beautiful fig at the end of Glebe Point Rd with views of the three bridges. It was like being in another world – so much so that I didn’t even realise it had been raining until my neighbour artist mentioned it, as we were protected under those huge fig branches.

Being with other artists using different styles, mediums and with varying levels of experience was very energising. Some were painting in oils, watercolours, acrylics or pencil. Some people had been painting for years, while others had only picked up a pencil or brush in the last four weeks and were encouraged by fellow artists to come and enjoy the experience.

I heard that a second Glebe Art Walk is planned for later in the year and I’m looking forward to being part of painting ‘on site’ again. This first one created a lot of interest with other artists who definitely want to be part of future ones.

It would be so good if this creative event brings more artists together and inspires more people to be part of it – whether they paint or simply enjoy viewing art being created.

What’s next for the Glebe Art Show?

The main event is the annual Glebe Art Show from 23 to 26 June 2022 being held at Harold Park Tramsheds, upstairs in the Community venue.