Entries are open for the 2020 Immanuel Arts Festival

Entries are now open for one of the Sunshine Coast’s most established arts events – the Immanuel Arts Festival. A popular and well-known event on the Coast’s cultural calendar, this year the Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary and will run from 21 to 24 May.

The event is an opportunity for artists – including students – to showcase their talent and increase their public profile; from emerging to established artists, all are welcome and encouraged to enter.

This year’s feature artists are Artist in Focus Chris Blake and Artists in Residence Justin Bruhn and Odessa Mahony de Vries, a graduate of Immanuel Lutheran College and an established artist who last year won Best Painting at the Festival.

Student Artist in Focus

For the first time, a Student Artist in Focus will appear – Immanuel’s Libby Evans. Libby is an extraordinary young artist who won last year’s Most Outstanding Work of Festival with her wearable art piece, X-Radiance. The judging panel were unaware that they were awarding the $1,000 prize to a 14-year old student who later in the year went on to place second in a national wearable art competition in Melbourne.

“In 2019, the Festival had a 30% increase in artist entries and nearly $25,000 of local artwork was sold,” said Convenor Carlie Johnston.

“Artists can enter a range of categories including painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography, wearable and creative arts,” she said.

Artists appearing at Immanuel Art Festival

Chris Blake is a master pastellist with the Pastel Society of Australia; an acclaimed artist who works mostly in oils and pastels, Chris paints landscapes, townscapes, boats and human-interest subjects.

“My work is best described as contemporary impressionism; realism but pushing the boundaries of colour and tone. My paintings might have green, yellow or pink skies, blue roads, purple sand and shadows. It makes them vibrant and, with judicious layering, even luminous,” said Chris.

“I also enjoy teaching, throughout Australia and abroad”, he said.

Award-winning artist, photographer and conservationist, Justin Bruhn, has over 10 years of expertise in underwater photography. Accolades include winning an award for his image of an endangered green turtle at the Cairns Underwater Film Festival in 2014, the same image, ‘Reflections’, selling out in the David Hart Gallery.


Credit: John McCutcheon

He won the Sunshine Coast Business Award in the Creative Industries category in 2018 and his business, Pure Underwater Imaging, was commissioned by Sunshine Coast Council to supply artwork for the Beerwah Aquatic Centre refurbishment.

“People protect what they love, and I endeavour to inspire a love of the ocean through my photography,” he said.

Odessa Mahony-de Vries (ILC Class of 2015) has a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Her art focuses heavily on abstract expressionism where she uses a wide range of mixed media on large scale canvases. Often her work is described as layered, haptic, colourful, playful, sophisticated and possessing a strong physical presence.

“My paintings are influenced by my surroundings and life experiences, particularly by my travels to India and Nepal. I use fabrics, string and various mark-making processes in my art,” said Odessa.

The 2020 Immanuel Arts Festival is proudly presented by the Immanuel Lutheran College Parents and Friends Community and is sponsored by Mix FM, My Weekly Preview, The Inkspot Printers, To Hold & To Have Award Winning Jewellers, Medicine on Second and Immanuel Lutheran College.

Conditions of entry and entry forms are available now at www.immanuelartsfestival.com.au

Entries close – for students and established artists – on 20 April.