July 21, 2021
The final month of the Queensland Winter Craft Festival only has another fortnight to run, but Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery volunteers believe this year’s outing – its sixth – has been the most successful to date.
The Festival began modestly in 2016 under the guidance of former Kingaroy Arts Team president Wayne Brown, who believed crafts were being overlooked by many traditional art galleries.
Given the large number of Australians who pursue crafts as a hobby or interest, he believed they deserved wider exposure.
Wayne’s idea for a two-month mid-Winter festival devoted to craft work – backed up by hands-on workshops and demonstrations that could teach crafts to new entrants – proved instantly popular.
So popular, in fact, that the Winter Craft Festival has now become a fixture on the Gallery’s annual exhibition calendar, and one that many South Burnett craftspeople look forward to eagerly.
In June, this year’s Festival opened with exhibitions by The Alpaca Collective, Red Earth Ruggers and Crafters and a ceramics exhibition by well-known Goomeri potter Fay Stumm, accompanied by a jam-packed workshop program teaching everything from spinning and weaving to paper tole, dichroic jewellery and rug-making.
This month, these have been replaced by textile art from Tangled Threads, a display of crochet work by internationally certified crochet instructor Rhonda Schultz, and clothing prepared by members of the Booie Spinners and Weavers, along with workshops covering Amigurumi (crocheted toys), Faberge egg-making, mosaics, photography and school holiday craft activities for children.
The Tangled Threads exhibition drew the most attention at the Festival’s recent July opening night because it is the first the group have held in the past two years.
Last year, pandemic restrictions prevented Tangled Threads holding an annual showcase of their recent works.
But this year they’ve come back with an eye-popping exhibition ranging from painted silks to quilts, and yarn paintings to delicate needleworks, that fill the main and rear galleries.
The third gallery holds intricately detailed work by internationally certified crochet instructor Rhonda Schultz, along with a display of beanies, shawls and other brightly coloured warm winter clothing fashioned by the Booie Spinners and Weavers Group.
Gallery curator Fran van Vegchel said public reaction to this year’s Festival had been “very positive” and she thought the quality of the exhibitions was continuing to get better year by year.
She said the Gallery was very proud to show what talented local craftspeople could produce, and thought much of the work on show at this year’s Festival was better than what most people would find in any capital city gallery.
- The Queensland Winter Craft Festival will remain on display at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery in Haly Street, Kingaroy from 10:00am to 4:00pm weekdays, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays, until the end of the month. Admission to view the exhibitions is free.