Sculptors keen to enter the 2021 Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival can start preparing their works! Entries for one of NSW’s most scenic arts events will open on Saturday 1 May and close on Wednesday 19 June.
The festival is going from strength to strength, becoming one of the prominent dates in the arts calendar of the State. 2021 is shaping up to be the biggest in its 19-year history, with sculptures displayed in four indoor galleries, two vineyards and throughout the scenic landscape of the valley.
To take advantage of the cooler weather, the festival will be held earlier than previous years. It will open on Saturday September 11 and run over two weeks and three weekends, closing on Sunday 26 September.
The opening on September 11 promises to be an exciting occasion. ABC Radio’s Simon Marnie will officiate again this year, and the organisers are thrilled to announce that he will be joined by David Handley AM, founding director of Sculpture by the Sea.
The prizes have also been expanded this year. They include a first prize of $25,000, an indoor prize of $7,000, highly commended $5,000, and other prizes for local artists, emerging artists and young artists. The finalists will be announced on 19 July and will all be invited to attend the opening where the prizes will be awarded.
As well as the chance to sell their works throughout the festival, all selected entrants will have a further marketing opportunity after it closes. All unsold works can be advertised in the new Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival Online Gallery, and unsold outdoor pieces can generally be left on-site until June 2022.
The Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival is the longest-running regional outdoor sculpture exhibition in Australia. It celebrates contemporary sculpture in all its forms, from sophisticated, modernist art works to more whimsical and ephemeral pieces.
This year the festival is collaborating with Dungog’s Sculpture on the Farm, which opens a week after the Wollombi festival ends. Sculptors are encouraged to enter works in both exhibitions, but not the same one, as the piece may already be sold by the time the Dungog event opens.
The festival is supported by Cessnock City Council, the Wollombi Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Wollombi Valley Progress Association, the Wollombi Valley Tennis Club and the Wollombi Valley Arts Council. Many local businesses and individual volunteers are also involved and make a crucial contribution to its operation.