THINGS TO DO: Don’t miss 3 days of amazing art and culture this May!

18 April 2019

Immanuel Lutheran College’s Arts Festival returns this May, and this year it is expected to be bigger than ever!

As the largest community arts event on the Sunshine Coast, Immanuel Arts Festival has proudly promoted visual, creative and performance art for almost 40 years. Hosted by the College's Parents & Friends Community, the Festival is a significant annual event on the Sunshine Coast calendar.

Since its small beginnings, the Festival has grown to now attract over 200 emerging and established artists and 800 artworks across a number of different genres including painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, wearable art, film and creative.

This year, held from 23 to 26 May, the Festival will showcase some incredible talent from across the region, including feature artists print maker Owen Hutchinson and painters Peter Rowe and Rachael Curry.

“Last year, the Festival attracted 253 artists from the Coast and beyond, and more than $28,000 worth of artwork was sold,” said Co-Convenor Sam Hattrick.

“Artists can enter a range of categories including painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography, wearable and creative arts and this year, we’re thrilled to host such versatile and talented artists,” she said.

Artist in Focus Owen Hutchison was a teacher before becoming a fulltime artist.

“Nearly all of my prints are woodcuts where I carve an image into wood, plywood or MDF. To add colours, I make more blocks, use the reduction method or combine both methods. Sometimes I hand colour small elements with watercolour or oil-based colour pencils,” said Owen.

“I’m drawn to printmaking having worked with wood for a number of years which included building wooden boats, my first home and furniture. I like the print-making process and feel that an effective print possesses a certain artistic power that emanates from the basic elements such as form, contrast and linear delineation,” he said.

Artist in Residence Peter Rowe is an artist and self-published children’s book author with a difference. Peter has Down syndrome and is limited verbally, relying upon a system called Facilitated Communication (FC) to share his voice. This, however, is where the limitations end. Peter’s art, which he has been creating for the past 27 years, is a revelation and celebration of his life and work, allowing him a medium to express his feeling and revealing his natural flair with colour.

For Peter, art not only has had the power to heal and transform but is an extension of who he is.

“It has meant the world to me to be able to express myself through art and writing. It is very therapeutic and has helped me become who I am. In many ways, my art and writing has given me a voice to speak with allowing me to express my thoughts, dreams and experiences in a way that communicate my feelings and share my heart,” said Peter.

Fellow Artist in Residence Rachael Curry is an award-winning Noosa artist. Rachael's artworks range from alluring soft pastel landscapes to coloured pencil, expressive and sweet animal artworks. She enjoys the fine detail of pencil and the range of tones that watercolour can bring forth in both botanic and animal artworks. 

Having worked with animals for many years, her animal artworks focus on anatomical strengths as well as emotive personality. Rachael has a stall at the Eumundi markets where she can be seen creating her artworks each Wednesday and Saturday.

“When I am drawing or painting, the boundaries of time, stop. There are no deadlines, there is no rush. I am there, and I am creating, and every now and then I get that thrill to look down and see what is coming out of my pencils. It is as though the art is breathing life into itself,” said Rachael. 

“We have an exciting line-up of artists for the general public to enjoy and I encourage all artists on the Sunshine Coast and beyond – including students – to enter the Festival. The event is an opportunity to exhibit and grow as an artist and is an event not to be missed,” said Sam.

Tickets for Gala Opening can be purchased online from the website. The Gala Opening is the first opportunity to purchase artwork before the festival opens to the general public. Winners of each category will be announced on the night, there is a wearable art parade, and wine and canapes are included in the ticket price of $35.

General entry tickets are $5 and can be purchased on the door. Drinks, snacks and meals will be available from the Festival Cafeteria outside the Gallery throughout the Festival.

For more information, head to

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
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