Bank Art Museum Moree Art Fair opening weekend a success

Bank Art Museum Moree was abuzz with activity on the weekend, as hundreds of people attended the BAMM Art Fair cocktail opening night on Friday and arts and craft market on Saturday.

The inaugural art fair was launched in style, with Friday night's cocktail opening night attracting a sell-out crowd of 160 people.

"It was fantastic," BAMM director Vivien Clyne said.

"We still had people approaching us on Friday morning hoping for extra tickets."

More than 35 artworks were sold on the night, as well as two raffled, which Ms Clyne said was great to see people supporting the local and regional artists featured in the group and micro exhibitions.

Saturday then saw more than 350 people flow through the gates of BAMM for a creative family fun day at the arts and craft garden market.

There were eleven stalls representing local and regional artists and craft makers, including handmade jewellery by Annette Piper and Frenchie + Mint, unique garden sculptures and accessories by Barb Eulenstein (horseshoe sculptures), Carolyn Ferguson (light features) and Natasha Tuart (hand painted pots), handmade paper and bags by Yvonne Ledingham, and artworks by Judi Lane and Mel Johnson.

People enjoyed a barbecue brunch while browsing the stalls, as the children were kept entertained in the kids' corner, which featured a crown and mask making station, and a graffiti wall for the older kids. The Bubble Lady from Armidale also provided entertainment for the day, with kids and adults alike able to try their hand at creating oversized bubbles.

There was also a live weaving demonstration by Maisie Johnson, who is featured in a micro exhibition showcasing her watercolour and weaving works, and who will be hosting a sold out weaving workshop in the BAMM Studio this Saturday, July 6.

The Saturday afternoon Art Groupies were also set up in the studio, working on their own artwork projects and allowing people to pop their head in and see one of the regular events on offer at BAMM.

Ms Clyne said BAMM has already received some wonderful feedback from artists and members of the community about the Art Fair.

"Robin Stieger, a Narrabri artist involved in the group exhibition, said the BAMM Art Fair 'was a breath of inspirational fresh air' and 'so professional without being exclusive', which is exactly what we were aiming for," she said.

"It's wonderful to hear."

The Art Fair will now continue throughout the month of July, with plenty happening to inspire and develop the community's artistic pursuits.

The local micro exhibition artists will speak at this Thursday's Art After Dark event, from 5pm to 7.30pm, which will include a watercolour art activity exploring 'visions of colour' in nature. Entry is $5 which includes a drink, nibbles and art materials.

There will also be workshops running throughout the month, including weaving with Maisie Johnson on Saturday, July 6, paper making with Yvonne Ledingham on Saturday, July 13, and painting with Dani Buchanan on Sunday, July 21. BAMM's school holiday art classes will also be running on Monday, July 8 and Wednesday, July 10, while a studio open day will be held on Saturday, July 20.

All artworks in the group and micro exhibitions will remain on display and available for purchase until Saturday, July 27.

"We encourage people to come along and see the exhibitions, purchase artworks to support the artists and BAMM, and vote in our People's Choice for their favourite artist (who will then receive a gift voucher for Moree Frame and Art to assist in their art practice)," Ms Clyne said.

"We do what we do for the love of our community, so it has been wonderful to see so much of Moree coming through the doors and embracing this new event.

"We are so thankful for the community's support, both locally and regionally, and look forward to hosting the BAMM Art Fair again next year."

For more information on the workshops and events, go to BAMM's website or Facebook page.