The Gunnedah Shire annual NAIDOC Week art exhibition was launched by Jade Punch at the Bicentennial Creative Arts Gallery last Friday.

An eclectic collection of outstanding works, the entries covered a broad spectrum with artworks from local schools and the community.

Ms Punch paid tribute to the artists for embracing this year’s theme ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud” and bringing it into their work.

“I would also like to thank the schoolteachers who took time out to encourage and assist students to produce their entries, ensuring that the culture is preserved,” she said.

In delivering the Acknowledgement of Country, Ms Punch asked for a minute’s silence remembering the respected Elder being farewelled by the indigenous community at that time.

Cultural Precinct team leader, Danny Hankinson, said the exhibition was vibrant and varied.

“The NAIDOC Week Art Exhibition 2024 reflects on the rich cultures of our First Nations people, with artworks including everything from bark paintings to weaving and sculpture,” Mr Hankinson said.

“Students and schools from the region have created some beautiful works alongside more seasoned artists, and our community should be proud of this celebratory exhibition.”

NAIDOC Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday.

The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee; and celebrates and recognises the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islanders.

The exhibition is open at Gunnedah Bicentennial Creative Arts Gallery, until Thursday, August 8

Arts North West executive director
Lauren Mackley admiring the woven
baskets created by Gunnedah South
Public School Year 5 pupils.

Izabela Chelaru and Ang McCormack representing Community Corrections.

Back, Mikayla Heit, Deb Hilton, Louisa Riordan, Louise Hill, Katherine Li, Tammy Wortley, Izabela Chelaru, Jonathan Young
and Ang McCormack. Front, Lauren Mackley and Jade Punch.

St Mary’s College Tammy Wortley and visual art teacher Jonathan Young. Year
11 students created this sculpture, with a candle inside, embracing the ‘Keep the Fire Burning’.

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