IBIS Exhibition crowns its winners | GALLERY

The Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery had much to celebrate on Friday night, as its incredible renovations were showcased to the public, and the IBIS Exhibition for 2019 officially opened.

Beginning with the refurbishment, the Gallery Board have been working for many months to get the project to completion. Thanks to a fundraiser last year, the floor now has a Black Japan finish.

The Gallery Board members had the job of removing the old dated carpet, but also the arduous task of extracting hundreds of staples that were embedded in the floorboards before the polish was applied.

But things came together before the IBIS opening, as Craig and Mark Slotegraaf from Naracoorte Painting generously donated a weekend to paint the walls, free of charge, and with the Wattyl paint being donated by Luke Elliot.

As well as the walls and floors, the lighting system has also been updated in the main gallery. The old lights have been replaced with new LED track lights, that won't damage the exhibited art work.

"The transformation now brings the Main Gallery up to 'first' class standards which will attract more high in-demand exhibitions," said Robyn Schinckel.

"There are exciting times ahead for the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery, and the Board extends a huge thank you to those who supported them in this project."

At the IBIS exhibition, emcee duties were undertaken by Kay Beauchamp, who also thanked Lesley Barker, who had "worked her socks off" getting all of the entries displayed in time for the opening.

Wild Game Wines provided the beverages for the exhibition, and many volunteers served entrees.

Kay Hole judged the children's 2D and 3D entries, and also the adult 3D entries. Peter Grieve was the children's and adult's photography judge.

The 2D adult's judge was unidentified and was absent from the opening. The 2D prize is now the Mary Bainger prize, in honour of her legacy at the gallery, and her bequest to the gallery.

In judging the children's entries, Ms Hole admitted that it had been incredibly difficult, but was proud to give many children highly commended certificates with short, encouraging messages on them.

(If parents were not there on the night, their children's certificates and summaries can be collected from the gallery).

The children's Year 1-4 prize went to Kelcey Dolphin, for her painting of two dogs on a large sheet of cardboard. To be able to get the animals in perspective at that scale, and at that age, showed some innovation and talent, Ms Hole explained.

Enoch Zhang won the Year 5-7 prize, as he painted a clown with both funny and frightening qualities.

Madelaine Bird won the high school prize, and Lachlan Leake won the children's 3D category for his tractor. It was moulded from clay, which would have taken considerable time and skill.

In photography, Peter Grieve looked for work that had a compelling subject, and displayed creativity, originality, detail, depth, and had not been fiddled with too much in post-production.

Isabel Teate won the children's category for her simple but lovely photo of London rain, and 'Serenity on the Pieman' by Helen Scheel won in the adult category.

Trent Stewart won the adult's 3D category for his magnificant Marsupial Lion welded from metal, and the inaugural Mary Bainger prize went to Sally Withers for her watercolour painting, 'Magnolia Little Gem'.