Four days of celebration will launch the highly-anticipated Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail in May, comprising more than 20 sculptures in and around Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Tooma and Tumbarumba.
The significant artworks were created by Australian and international artists, some of whom will stay in the Snowy Valleys for the official public opening from 5 to 8 May.
Funded by the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund and devised in consultation with Sculpture by the Sea, the Snowy Valleys Council, a local community advisory group and members of the wider Snowy Valleys community, the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will stretch 100 km from Adelong to Tooma.
The Trail will be opened at Courabyra Vineyard on Thursday 5 May by NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres, followed by a meet the artists lunch at Courabyra Vineyard on 6 May and community days over the weekend.
The community days will mark the public opening of the Trail including artist-led sculpture workshops for the family, tours of the sculptures and special guest presentations.
They will be held on 7 May in Adelong, Batlow and Tumbarumba and on 8 May in Tooma, with free public celebrations organised by the local communities.
Free hop-on, hop-off buses will run between Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Johansen Wines and Courabyra Wines throughout 7 May, including Tumut pick-up and drop-off.
Among the Trail sculptures is The Inconvenience Store, an award-winning interactive performance piece created by artist Marina DeBris which launched in Batlow in January. Works by Marcus Tatton, Jennifer Cochrane and Denmark’s Keld Moseholm were unveiled in Tumbarumba in late 2021.
Three of Merran Esson’s pieces have also been acquired for the Trail. The Tumbarumba-born Australian ceramic artist who later moved to Sydney has been making works of art using clay for more than 40 years. Her artworks express the contrast between the extremes of country and city.
Sculpture by the Sea founding CEO and artistic director David Handley has thanked the members of the communities across the Snowy Valleys for preparing the local celebrations in their towns to welcome visitors.
“We look forward to hundreds of people in each town meeting the artists who have created the sculptures for their towns and to enjoying a wide range of free activities for all the family,” he said.
Sculpture by the Sea – one of Sydney’s most popular events – attracts some 500,000 visitors viewing more than 100 sculptures by artists from around the world.
Staged annually for three weeks each spring on the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk since 1997, it is the largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world and generates an almost unprecedented level of goodwill among the public.
The popularity of the Bondi exhibition led to the creation of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe in Perth in March each year.
Staged since 2005 the Cottesloe exhibition features more than 70 sculptures and is enjoyed by 220,000 visitors, making the exhibition as much a part of Perth as the Bondi show is in Sydney.
The Snowy Mountains Trail is destined to become a world-class sculpture collection, aiming to encourage more tourists to visit the region and stay longer.
The Trail will continue to expand with new artworks added later in 2022 and the first half of 2023.
Its influence is already being felt in classrooms throughout the region with some 735 students from nine schools across the Snowy Valleys involved with artist-led sculpture making workshops since December 2020 as part of the lead-up to the opening event.
The Local Community Advisory Committee for the Trail includes Angela Pearce of Adelong, Robyn Sweeney of Batlow, Laura Fraumeni of Tumbarumba and Jeff Sheather from Tooma with Glenn McGrath representing Snowy Valleys Council.
The Committee has been working since mid-2021 to select the more than 20 sculptures to be installed for the launch.
Many of these sculptures have been previously exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi or Cottesloe but the trail will also include new artworks from selected artists.
To book tours or workshops, register for community buses or for more information visit the Sculptures by the Sea website.