For over three decades one amazing school, the Sunshine Coast’s own Immanuel Lutheran College, has been behind an arts festival that is today seen as the largest community event of its kind on the coast. The festival is made possible due to the tireless efforts and work of the Parents & Friends Association of the college with support from many local businesses.
In 1984, when the festival was three years old, the event generated $4,200 for the P&F. With a small number of paintings, the cost of hiring screens was only $100. How times have changed! With an army of volunteers, generous sponsorship and with hanging space over a 2000 square metre area, the festival is an event of epic proportions.
The festival promotes visual, creative and performance art within the Sunshine Coast’s wider community and in 2014, will be once again at Immanuel Lutheran College held from 22-25 May.
“Last year, over 2000 visitors enjoyed the festival and over $22,000 worth of artwork was sold,” said festival convenor Mrs Sonia Parker. She went on to say “Artists can enter work in a range of categories including, painting, drawing, print, sculpture, photography, wearable and creative arts. This year, we’re also opening the student categories to any student from Prep to Year 12 as we’d like to support and showcase student artists from across the Sunshine Coast”.
The College itself is a keen collector of fine art and purchases a number of pieces each year to add to its growing collection.
During its time, the event has grown from a small gathering with a limited number of pieces to today’s festival which attracts 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, the festival is also opening the student categories to any student from Prep to Year 12 to show support and showcase student artists from across the Sunshine Coast.
The cost of entry is $15 per artist for one piece and $30 for up to three pieces entered in the open categories. All artwork will be exhibited and on sale over four days and there is a prize pool of nearly $5,000 available to entrants. Awards include: Outstanding Work of Festival with $1,000 in prize money and the increasingly popular People’s Choice award with $500 in prize money.
The 2014 Immanuel Arts Festival is proudly sponsored by: the Sunshine Coast Daily, Mix FM, the residential community developer of Sunshine Cove, the Chardan Development Group, The Inkspot, Millroy Jewellers, Wearco Clothing Company and Immanuel Lutheran College.
Conditions of entry and entry forms are now available at www.immanuelartsfestival.com.au
Some interesting facts about the festival:
- In 2013, Film was added to the student categories
- In 2012, an Open Wearable Art category was included for the first time
- In 1990, there were 300 paintings on display and 46 were sold
- In 2010, there were over 1000 artworks on display
- In 1991, there were 36 pieces of art in the Immanuel collection
- In 2010, there were 110 pieces in the Immanuel collection
- In 1991, the 10th Immanuel Arts Festival was opened by Mr Eddie de Vere OBE who was instrumental in approving the rezoning which saw the College established on its present site
- Other ‘VIPs’ who have opened the festival include Channel 7 personality Mr Rob Brough in 1998 and Mr Steve Dickson MP in 2010.
- In 1998, Immanuel Secondary School Art Teacher Gail Mackey won the PJ Burns Prize for Most Outstanding Work of the Exhibition for her painting “Study in Pastel (After D Hamilton)”
- 2001 was referred to as the “Year of the Festivals” as the Immanuel Arts Festival was split for the first time from Fruehlingsfest
- 2001 was also the 20th anniversary of the Festival. As well as new dates in May, there were extended opening hours and Sunday musical entertainment; in 2001 it was an outdoors concert featuring The Ten Tenors
- The festival has supported emerging artists as well as Immanuel students in various pursuits including the Immanuel USA Music Tour in 2008
- Along with the College’s spring carnival Fruehlingsfest, and Voices on the Coast Literature Festival, the Immanuel Arts Festival is a significant event on the Sunshine Coast calendar.