Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lea Stevens in Art Buzz Column in Cooktown Local News

'Art Buzz' weekly column inaugural edition, in Cooktown Local News

By Faye Pini.
Ph 0434 356 362

Wednesday December 16th 2009

Artist's First Solo Exhibition On Show

Local artist Lea Stevens is gaining increasing recognition for her paintings of animals and the environment as related to her indigenous cultural heritage. 

As a member of the Cooktown School of Art Society and volunteer at the Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery she has been successful with sales of her paintings and attracted a lot of interest from locals and visitors to Cooktown.

Now she has her first solo exhibition titled 'From the Land, Through the Rainforest, to the Sea'.  Two paintings sold on opening night, Friday 4 December and the exhibition is showing until Tuesday 19 January, at the UMI Art Gallery Martyn St, Cairns.

Lea comes from a large family of nine children with links through her father to the mbarbarum and Yedinjie groups and through her mother to the  KuKu Yalanji, and Guguu Yimidthirr. 

She first took an interest in art in the 1980's after watching family members painting and making artifacts. 

Lea says her uncle Joe and aunt Betty ran an Aboriginal arts and crafts shop, Anuaka, where they sold all their art work.  They encouraged her to paint boomerangs and clap-sticks and the tools the ancestors used.  She observed older cousins and local murris making and painting these artifacts. 

In 2007, Lea picked up a paint brush and started painting with acrylics on canvas. 

At the Naidoc celebration in Cairns Lea's sister helped to get a stall together where they sold family art works,  It was a real confidence boost when her art work sold to tourists and locals, and one of her paintings was purchased by a gallery owner. 

Lea then had a showing of her work at the Cooktown Art Festival, and later at Cardwell’s Land and Sea Conference Festival where she also did well.   

With the opportunity to showcase her paintings in Cairns, Lea's artistic career continues to develop.  Any locals who have the opportunity should call into UMI Art Gallery and support a talented new local artist.

Meanwhile, Cooktown's Elizabeth Guzsely Galley is closed for the summer and will reopen on January 16.

As volunteers are on holiday or out of town we don't have the staff to open on a regular basis - but the galley can open for a group that needs a place to meet or is interested in running an event. 

The gallery is in the centre of town, has a small kitchen area, tables and chairs, toilets and parking out the back. 

Anyone who wishes to make use of the gallery for a community event please phone me on  0434 356 362 or email as the members are open to other groups in town using the venue.  And please contact me with any and all 'art' news for this weekly column.


Monday, December 14, 2009

'Art Buzz' in Cooktown Local News

Look out for the weekly 'Art Buzz' column in the Cooktown Local News!  
Reports on all things art related by Faye Pini will start this week.

Thanks go to editor Narelle Hine for recent articles that assisted the Cooktown School of Art Society with publicity.  This increased the community response and support at our AGM and planning forum.  With increase in membership numbers and a fresh managemet team in place we've been reinvigorated for the coming year.  The previuos three years have been filled with achievements.  We look forward to 2010 being just as eventful!

Approximately 1400 copies of the Cooktown Local News are distributed every Wednesday throughout Cooktown, Hope Vale, Rossville, Wujal Wujal, Bloomfield, Ayton, Marton, Port Douglas, Mossman, Cairns, Lakeland Downs/Laura, Mt Carbine/Mt Molloy, Mareeba and Coen, plus to subscribers across Australia and overseas.  

So if you are a local artist or have an interest in art and have a art story or event that you'd like kown then contact Faye Pini per mobile 0434356362 or e-mail me via our website at


Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Lunch at Shadows Restaurant

Shadows Restaurant entrance
Cooktown School of Art Society held Christmas lunch amidst the serenity of the tropical rainforest gardens at Shadows Restaurant.  With the owners and hosts Bruce and Peter we had a truly fine dining experience at this idyllic hide-away.

See their Web Site


Friday, November 20, 2009

In Cooktown - 16th January 2010 Kids APT One Day On Tour


Cooktown School of Art Society has arranged with the Queensland Art Gallery Of Modern Art (GOMA) to show a Kids’ Asia Pacific Triennal - APT - on tour program as part of the Summer Festival.  This will be at our gallery.  It involves a "one day program of highlights to be held throughout the state.  Regional galleries will host a free day of activities simultaneously with the Queensland Art Gallery.  Saturday 16 January 2010 between 10.30am and 2.30pm". 

Kids’ APT on Tour features interactive activities for children and families created by a number of artists in the exhibition. The exhibition offers children and families insights into contemporary art across the Asia Pacific region.
See our listing - "Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery, Cooktown" on the Queensland Art Gallery Web Site by clicking this link - Kids APT on Tour Venues
This should be a great event to hold in Cooktown and to get kids involved on the day.  As GOMA sends us information I'll post it to this blog. 
Cooktown was going to participate in 2008 APT which was the ‘Andy Warhol Summer Festival – Queensland’ held on 19 January 2008.  We also missed the chance to host ‘Kids’: Contemporary Australia on Tour’ held on 19 January 2009 so now we are involved for 2010 we are hoping this will be successful so we will be able to continue to host Kid's APT on Tour in the future!

Judy Pomroy Week-End Art Workshop April 2010

Cooktown School of Art Society had obtained RADF funding to put on a week-end Art Workshop in April 2010 by well known professional artist  Judy Pomroy  

Judy's enthusiastic and innovative approach to painting techniques inspire students in her classes.  Judy will show you that it is never too late to start to paint.  Her philosophy is that art is a shared experience.

Her paintings have been successfully exhibited in venues on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney and have found their way into private collections throughout NSW, QLD and Canada.

You will need to book to attend as numbers will be limited.  Once bookings open - see the adverts and flyers in 2010 - you will be given a list of materials needed for the course and the fees which we keep as low as we are able so aspiring artists have the opportunity to attend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

General Meeting Minutes On Cooktown Art Web Site

Hi members and those interested.  Minutes of our General Meetings and Planning Forum Ideas list can be viewed on our Cooktown Art Web Site at by scrolling down this page until you see the headings -  'Meetings' and 'Planning Sessions Ideas' you will be able to click on the document link and the pdf document will load.  You can save it or print it for your own record.  Also it will help us save postage and printing costs if you view the minutes on-line!  Go green!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recognition for local artist Margaret McCosh

The talents of local artist Margaret McCosh have been recognised by Artist's Palette magazine.  Margaret's feature article can be seen in edition No. 79 which is now available in newsagents or if you'd like to subscribe to this excellent artists magazine go to the web site at and follow the links.

When she was approached by the magazines editor and asked to do a painting demonstration and article for publication Margaret gave this a lot of thought.  The results speak for themselves and her acrylic painting demonstration of Caladiums from her garden is a delightful work and an easy project for the beginner artist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Colour Theory Art Workshop - Week 2

Today we continued our colour theory art workshop.  Using primary, secondary and tertiary colours and black and white we mixed a range of different hues, shades and tints.  We also did a tonal scale chart from white to black with each participant choosing one colour and trying to do at least 18 values.  This was a very interesting exercise and demonstrated the patience needed to work out correct proportions of pigment to white or black to create the required value.  We also did a 7 X 5 grid mixing tertiary colours through a range of values.  Elizabeth has been making us work!  Very good for developing our art skills.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery November 2009 - Art On Display

In Cooktown we have great local artists who are able to display their paintings in the gallery.  Recently a colour theme was used to re-arrange the art works.  The public feedback has all been positive.  It is amazing that something as simple as the positioning of a painting alongside another work can highlight and enhance the works.  Having this colour flow has re-invigorated the paintings on display and the visitors to the gallery are enjoying the art!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Colour Theory Art Workshop

Colour Theory Art Workshop

Colour Theory Art Workshop by Elizabeth Johns held in Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery on Saturday afternoon 7th November 2009.  This was the first of three sessions for beginner and established artists.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

General Meeting Tuesday 3rd November 2009

Our meeting was held on the gallery front verandah. With cooling breezes and a view of the main street.  This is a great place to watch the passing people. Sadly our President Diana had to resign but will remain an active member.  Carole will be Acting President.

Ideas from the Open Art Forum are typed up and available to members.

Our last meeting of the year to be held over lunch.

Also check out this weeks Cooktown Local News for our inaugural Cooktown Art Feature which will now become a weekly art commentary.

Christmas Social Saturday 28th November for lunch. Need feedback from members by Friday.

Reminder: Colour Theory Art Workshop by Elizabeth Johns.
This Saturday 7th November at 1pm at the gallery.
$20.00 per 3 hour weekly session.
Materials required.
If interested contact Elizabeth or email Cooktown Art.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open Art Forum Saturday 24th October 2009

The open forum produced many ideas for the gallery.  There was great interest in seeing more art education for beginners or people new to art and painting.  Some members have volunteered to put together a program of instruction and will then advertise times, dates and costs.  Keep your eyes open!  Details of our first art lessons will be posted soon!  There were many other ideas and these will be discussed at our General Meetings.

NEXT GENERAL MEETING IS ON MELBOURNE CUP DAY!  All you race betting winners (and losers) please take the time to drop into the gallery at 5:15pm Tuesday 3rd November for the meeting.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Open Forum - Imagine the Possibilities!

Good turn out for our first General Meeting under new Management Committee.

We had 13 members and 1 guest attend.  Also new applications for membership.

A date has been decided for an open forum to plan for future events.  Adverts will be posted and the community asked for ideas.

Come along to an Open Forum!  

Ideas and suggestions welcome!  Have your say!   No idea to wild.   All welcome to join in.  We'll collect all the ideas, refine what is possible, produce a finished list and do up our plan.

WHEN:  10am to 1pm Saturday 24th October
WHERE:  Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery 125 Charlotte Street

Devonshire Teas, coffee, muffins, yummy eats to help you think.

What would you like to see happening in the gallery?  What exhibitions?  What groups or activities?  

Think - Location!  Location!  Location!  We have a gallery in the centre of town!  Ah, the possibilities!

What great potential for the future of the arts in Cooktown.  The more support we can generate the more likelyhood of funding opportunities and expansion in the future.  Think big!  


Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Management Committee!

At the AGM today the Management Committee of the last three years stepped down for a well earned rest.

Our newly elected committee was sworn in!

President: Diana Burns
Secretary: Carole O'Neill
Treasurer: Rosalie Andre

L to R Rosalie, Diana, Carole

President: Betty Clarke
Secretary/Acting Treasurer: Faye Pini

L to R Faye, Betty

Our art society lives!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Annual General Meeting Reminder!

Pizza Party Prior to AGM.


12:30pm at the gallery!

AGM commencing 1:30pm

RSVP to Faye by Thursday 10th September

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cooktown Art Festival Shire Hall Displays


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bloomfield Artist Margaret McCosh - Art Dolls

As part of the Cooktown Art Festival the Bloofield Artists displayed paintings, fine crafted wooden furniture, and a range of art works including these wonderful dolls. Also see our Web Site for paintings by Margaret.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday Markets @ Cooktown Art Festival

Cooktown locals hold a market in the park every Saturday. For the Cooktown Art Festival Week-end everyone made a special effort to display Art, craft, jewelry and produce for sale. The yummy food stalls are always busy.



Click this link to see Roly's Shop

Cooktown Art Festival - Woodcarving - Mark Berg

Mark Berg's discovery of woodcarving has become a lifelong passion. He captures the colour, texture and beauty of woods expressed through elegant and functional works. The usefulness and unique properties of wood and an attraction to natural science led Mark to realise that the pleasure we humans gain from making and using tools has persisted from the stone age to the present. He first discovered his enthusiasm for woodcarving making handles for garden tools. He studied Polynesian wood and stone artifacts and tools at Auckland museum and learnt basic carving techniques working with Maori woodcarvers. These skills have been honed over twenty years working on Australian hardwoods.

Some of the works can be seen at Aukland University or in Cooktown at the Courthouse, Hospital and Botanic Gardens. Most works are in private collections.

Photos of Woodwork

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cooktown Art Festival 2009 - At The Kindy

The Cooktown Art Festival is showcasing the work of our youngest artists with the Kindergarden Art Display, Coffe Shop and Cake Stall!

Cooktown Art Festival Arty Bras

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