Mullumbimby High School Art Teacher Karen Preston with president of the Ocean Shores Art Expo Richard Heazlewood-Ross admiring some of the school's award-winning entries in the expo last year.
Mullumbimby High School Art Teacher Karen Preston with president of the Ocean Shores Art Expo Richard Heazlewood-Ross admiring some of the school's award-winning entries in the expo last year.

Art expo is the latest event to be cancelled

ANOTHER Byron Shire event has been cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Ocean Shores Art Expo was due to run in August.

But the event's president, Richard Heazlewood-Ross, said the committee had "faced the reality" it could not proceed this year.

Bluesfest Byron Bay has been cancelled while Splendour in The Grass is expected to run in spring.
Countless other events and community groups have been impacted by new rules restricting gatherings.

Mr Heazlewood-Ross said the earlier ban on indoor events involving more than 100 people "was the clincher" but that restriction's since been tightened to ban more than two people (except those from the same household) from gathering in public, making their event "impossible".

"We understand that this will disappoint many artists," he said.

"We do understand the urgency and need for these policies.

"The committee is very concerned about the impact on local businesses who provide essential financial support for the exhibition.

"Out of respect for them, we do not intend to approach them for assistance this year.

"We also consider that the uncertain, fearful climate and financial impact on many households will make it a difficult climate for selling artworks."

Mr Heazlewood-Ross said the committee would still honour a $2000 grant to fund a workshop for senior high school art students in the Byron Shire.

"We thank the Mullumbimby High Art teachers who have kindly agreed to co-ordinate this when it is safe to do so," he said.

Passing on advice from a local performer, the committee has urged people to support artists in the following ways:

• Reach out to artists during this difficult time. They need some hope and the immediate future is bleak.

• Like an artist's page, tell them how their work has impacted you.

• Use the time at home to sign up for an online class with a local artist, become a patron of artists (for example on Patreon).

• Art and craft markets have closed, so seek out those artists online to buy their wares.


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