All eyes on Bentley Art Prize

FINE BODY OF WORK: A selection of some of the artworks that were on display at last year’s Bentley Art Prize.
FINE BODY OF WORK: A selection of some of the artworks that were on display at last year’s Bentley Art Prize. Doug Eaton

BENTLEY will be transformed into the art capital of the Northern Rivers for three days this weekend when the community hosts the 25th annual Bentley Art Prize.

The art competition is held in the Bentley Hall and will open on Friday night with a wine and cheese tasting, and a viewing of the more than 600 entries that have been received from as far a field as Bathurst and Brisbane.

On Saturday, the event will be open from 9am to 5pm, and will also feature food and market stalls, live entertainment by the Manning Family, children's activities, and the official opening by former Lismore mayor Merv King at 2pm.

The art exhibits will again be open for viewing on Sunday, from 9am to 3pm.

According to co-ordinator Helen Trustum, the event has grown over the past 25 years to become one of the biggest art shows on the Northern Rivers.

This year, the event will offer a total of $9000 in prizes in 14 categories, with three categories - the Tursa Open Painting Prize, the Casino RSM Club Acquisition Painting Prize, and Phyllis Hartley Memorial Prize - all offering $1000 each for first place.

The Phyllis Hartley Memorial Prize is new to the event this year and honours long-time former co-ordinator Phyllis Hartley, who died earlier this year.

Phyllis and husband Reg were the driving force behind the original art prize and were joint co-ordinators of the event for 21 years.

All proceeds from the Art Prize go to the upkeep of the Bentley Hall and nominated local charities.

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