smoking ceremony


The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival is now a Biennale Event.

As with many major Australian and International Exhibitions, the decision has been made to hold our festival every 2 years.

The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Biennale will premier in September 2024.

The biennial event will allow us the energy to keep improving and growing the festival, which we believe will ensure it keeps running for decades to come.

Sculpture in the Vineyards is the longest running regional sculpture festival in New South Wales.

We are a not for profit organisation run by over 100 local volunteers.

In 2019 the local community raised an unprecedented $34,000 for prize money and the name was changed to The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival to reflect the dedication of the entire Wollombi Valley.


We are thrilled to announce that Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC Governor of New South Wales has agreed to become The Patron of the Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival.

The Sculpture Festival Governor’s Prize is offered this year with the winning sculpture to be exhibited in the sculpture garden at Government House for 12 months at the conclusion of the Festival.

Photo: Governor Beazley at Stonehurst Cedar Creek Winery with sculptor Ayako Saito in 2020, standing in front of Ayako’s work Lunar Shadow. Photo credit Nick Glover.



As an original sponsor of Sculpture by the Sea Armando shares his passion for sculpture as a valued supporter of The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival.

In recent years Armando has been one of our Festival Judges and led Guided Sculpture Tours for local school children.

Photo: Armando Percuoco A.O. at his Laguna property Valley Fields


Paul Selwood is acknowledged by the Australian art world as one of our finest sculptors of the past forty years.

He has his studio and an outdoor sculpture park in the Hunter Valley devoted to the display of large scale sculptures, many of which have been exhibited in Sydney at Sculpture by the Sea, The Royal Botanic Gardens, and NSW Government House and on the harbour foreshore at Sawmillers Reserve. Internationally he is represented In the UK, USA, New Zealand and Denmark.


The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival would not be possible without the generosity of our Major Sponsors and Donors. A huge thank you to all for your ongoing support.

MAJOR SPONSORS (donations of $1000+)

Great Northern Trading Post (GNTP) (FD) 
Noyce Brothers Wine (FD) 
Redleaf Wollombi (FD)
Robertson’s Remedial and Painting (FD)
Sandy and Peter Dulhunty
Sandy McIntyre and Ian Kerr (FD)
Somewhere Unique
Stonehurst Wines (FD)
Undercliff Winery (FD)
Winmark Wines (FD)
Wollombi Brook Family Farm Stay
Wollombi Tavern (FD)
Wollombi Tennis and Sports Association (FD)
Wollombi Valley Arts Council
Wollombi Valley Chamber of Commerce
Wollombi Valley Progress Association (FD)


Meg Berg
Terry Boyle (FD)  
Maggie Browne (FD)
Brenda and Garry Downes
Paul and Sharon Groves
Shawna Hartley
Hollybrook Accommodation and Retreat 
Merryn and David Kennedy
Michelle Opie and Mark Hopkinson
Ant and Alice Parsons (FD)
Loris and Lindsay Self (FD)
Murray Smythe (FD)
Somewhere Unique (FD)
Winten Family (FD)

FD – Foundation Donors are the generous locals who donated the major prize money in 2019.


Cessnock City Council – $3,000 (FD)


Blender Gallery
Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences
GoGet Car Share
Grape Experience Tours
Greenway Wines
Hunter Valley Escapes
Ryder Studios
Sands Promotions
Squiggle – Graphic and Website Design
St Michael’s Church
The Endeavour Museum
Twine Collective
Will Sadler – Old Wollombi Dance Hall
Wollombi Real Estate
Wollombi Stays
Wollombi Valley Arts Council
Wollombi Valley Chamber of Commerce


ABC Radio
Hunter & Coastal Magazine
Newcastle Herald


Capers Guest House
Valle Laguna
Valleyfield Escape
Wollombi Stays



President – Graham Skeates
Vice President – Jennifer Winten
Secretary – Michelle Opie
Treasurer & Public Officer – Rick Jirsch
Vineyard Representatives – Jane Hamshere, Laura Heslop-Shaw
Committee Members – Chris Books, Susan Leith-Miller, Alice Parsons, Michael Winnick.


Festival Director – Susan Leith-Miller
Curator – Wendy Black
Assistant Curator – Stephanie Vella
Senior Coordinator – Jennifer Winten
Sales Coordinator – Jennifer Winten
Assistant Sales Coordinator – Michael Winnick
Volunteer Coordinator – Alice Parsons
Catalogue Editor – Alice Parsons
Assistant Catalogue Editor – Michael Winnick
COVID Marshall – Meg Berg
Gallery Coordinators – Annette Crowther, Merryn Kennedy
Assistant Curators – Deb Harrod, Giles Tester, Samantha Tucker, Ant Parsons
Content Writer – Nicholas Glover
Social Media – Stephanie Vella & Natalie Moore
Media – Carley Tucker
Graphic Design & Website – Gay Hodge
Catalogue Advertisement Sales – Ros McCool
Schools Co-ordinator – Chris Davey
Group Tour Co-Ordinator – Stephanie Vella


Rhonda Davis, Senior Curator Macquarie University Art Gallery.
John McDonald,  John writes a weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald.


First Prize – $25,000
Indoor Prize – $7,000
Highly Commended – $5,000
Emerging Artist – $2,000
2325 Local Artist indoor – $1,000
2325 Local Artist outdoor – $1,000
Artist in Residency Prize – $1,000 (in kind)
Young Sculptor Award – $250 (vouchers for materials)
The Governor’s Prize – Exposure and Prestige

All donations to our organisation are tax deductable.



The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival has been recognised as the ‘The Australia Day 2022 Community Event of the Year’ by the Cessnock City Council at an Australia Day Awards Ceremony.
Festival Director Susan Leith-Miller, Festival President Graham Skeates and Festival Founding Members Phillipa Heslop and Jane Hamshere attended the Australia Day Ceremony and were delighted to accept the award on behalf of the Committee and local volunteers who have kept Sculpture in the Vineyards running since 2002.
2022 is the 20th Anniversary of The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival and preparations are already underway for what we are expecting will be a huge celebration.

From left: Phillipa Heslop, Jane Hamshere, Graham Skeates, Susan Leith-Miller. Photo credit Nick Glover.



Photo above: Opening Ceremony 2019. Photo courtesy of Chris Southwood.