Artwork submitted to the Mary Valley Art Festival will be judged by three accomplished figures in  the Queensland art sector – landscape artist Brent Harvey, Gympie award-winner Kym Barrett (pictured) and fine art critic Kaye Cathro. 

It’s a coup for the festival to have such a line-up, according to Heinke Butt, president of Mary Valley Artslink which hosts the event. 

New Zealand born artist Brent Harvey is now based on the Sunshine Coast. He is perhaps best known for his realistic coastal landscape paintings and has also enjoyed acclaim as a bird painter and in portraiture. 

His motivation for painting is that well before any intellectual consideration, there is the simple  desire to make marks that please the eye. 

With a professional career in the arts now spanning into its fifth decade, Brent lists his career  highlights as winning the inaugural $50,000 James Hardie Wildlife Art Prize in 1991 and runner up in the $100,000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 1994.  

Winner of the 2021 Flying Arts Queensland Regional Arts Award Kym Barrett is a painter living  and working in Chatsworth, Gympie.  

She primarily paints with oils and cold wax on board, making abstract paintings that aim to evoke  aspects of the landscape imbued with aliveness and mystery. 

Barrett has had 19 solo exhibitions and her work is contained in numerous public and private  collections in Australia and internationally. 

Sunshine Coast readers will recognise Kaye Cathro as the founder of Lasting Impressions Gallery of Fine Arts, which operated for 30 years in Kenilworth and gained an Australia-wide reputation for showcasing some of Australia’s finest artists and craftspeople. 

The gallery closed in 2016 and Kaye, recognised as a fine art critic, curator and promoter of the  arts, now lives at Pomona. 

The judges will have a hard time selecting winners across 10 categories at the Mary Valley Art  Festival, which is held from July 21-24 at the Imbil Public Hall, near Gympie, South-East  Queensland. 

The festival is open daily from 10am-3pm, with the gala opening night and awards on July 22. It attracts hundreds of visitors to Imbil and includes a poets’ breakfast on July 23.

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