• Hannah Phillips

SALA Coming to Coorong

The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival is coming to the Coorong for the first time, with plans to feature up to 40 local artists across three galleries from July to September this year.

The number of submissions has already surpassed Council’s initial expectations, with Arts & Community Development Officer Susie Ifould saying she could not be happier with the response.

“While this is the 20th year for SALA across the State, it’s the first time the Coorong District Council has been involved – so to have this incredible response from the local community is exciting.

“The vast majority of the art will be on display at the Coorong Gallery (based in Tailem Bend), but we are also setting up feature exhibitions in Tintinara and Meningie, ensuring all of our community has an opportunity to experience this amazing festival.”

Ms Ifould said the benefits for local artists and the community were immeasurable.

“This festival is a major stimulus for our arts community,” she said.

“It’s a reaffirmation of their skills and encourages our artists to keep honing their craft and experimenting with new ideas and art forms.

“The field of artists on show across the three sites ranges anywhere from internationally recognised names, to some first-time and emerging exhibitors.

“Of course art-enthusiasts will be excited to visit our Coorong galleries during the SALA Festival, but the event really is for everyone across the region to experience, and I’d encourage you to come and take a look at the fabulous works our local artists are exhibiting."

Coorong District Council Mayor Neville Jaensch said the Coorong is now a leader in terms of championing regional art, and this program was part of a much bigger plan for Council.

“The social benefits of the SALA program will include outcomes in terms of mental health, community connectedness and civic pride," he said.

"Not to mention the incredible colour and life it will breathe in to our local towns.

“We also have great representation from our local Aboriginal artists as well, many of who have already had their work exhibited at national level, so this is a major coup.

“I expect SALA to attract hundreds of people to visit our district.”

The exhibition space based at Tintinara will be dedicated to the first solo show for local emerging artist Col Cavanagh, who was awarded commendations during Coorong exhibitions and regional shows held recently.

Other exhibitors include Rita Lindsay, Pamela Gillen, Bluey Roberts, Marie Littlewood and John Barrie, with many more to be announced.

For all the details, events and opening times for the Coorong SALA Festival, visit: coorong.sa.gov.au/cooronggallery.

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