The South Coast's annual River of Art Festival kicks off this week with a jam packed program. Here are the opening highlights:
Starting Thursday evening, the winner of the festival's Art Prize will be announced at the opening of the River of Art's own exhibition at Narooma's SOART Gallery and Studios starting at 5.30pm.
On Friday evening, Archibald prize winner, Wendy Sharpe, will officially open the festival at 6.30pm on Friday May 17 at Moruya's Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre. The centre will feature the River of Dreams Exhibition throughout the festival.
Also on Friday evening, the woodworkers' Splinters Group will open their exhibition at Moruya's Mechanics Institute at 6pm.
On Saturday night, Narooma's Kinema will come alive to the sounds of Kinema Kabaret, a burlesque and cabaret show featuring performers from fringe festivals and circus events across the country.
Then on Sunday night, Wendy Sharpe will be back for the inaugural Artist in Conversation dinner at The River restaurant in Moruya. Wendy will talk about her life as an artist over a delicious three-course dinner prepared by Chef Peter Compton.
READ MORE: What to see at River of Art open studios
While all this is happening, a feast of other festival features will be underway ranging from workshops on silver jewellery and photography through to the Open Studios along the coast from Bateman's Bay to Tilba. Meanwhile cafes, shops, restaurants and even a hotel will be the backdrop for a myriad of art featured in Art on Parade.
The festival continues until Monday 27. For full details, see www.riverofart.com.au. Hardcopy programs are also available in libraries, visitor centres and other locations along the coast.
River of Art is funded by the NSW Government through Destination NSW and the Eurobodalla Shire Council.