Congratulations to Ben Fayle from Sawtell and Polly Wells from Bellingen who were chosen respectively as this year’s STILL: National Still Life Award’s People’s Choice and STILL Salon People’s Choice winners.

Ben won $5,000 and Polly received $2,000. The People’s Choice Awards are a fantastic way of giving visitors to both exhibitions the chance to show their appreciation of the talent on show.

Did you pop into the STILL Salon when it was on in Coffs Central? Hundreds of people did – there were over one thousand visitors in the first week alone.

The Salon was an opportunity for the Regional Gallery to showcase the talents of local artists who were unable to be included in the main Still exhibition due to the small size of the Regional Gallery.

Having the Salon – which was generously provided by Coffs Central – gave many more people the opportunity to see the high quality of the North Coast region’s artistic talent. It has also meant that many of the exhibiting artists, who staffed the Salon, were able to connect with visitors.

In total, 36 artworks by local artists from Byron Bay to Port Macquarie were on show. Works included painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and textiles.

And if you didn’t manage to get along to the STILL Salon, the main exhibition – showcasing 59 works from a total of over 750 entries for the Award – is on at the Regional Gallery until November 30 2019.

The overall winner of the $20,000 STILL: National Still Life Award was Kelly Austin from Hobart, Tasmania.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, who was present at the announcement of Kelly’s win in October said: “I take my hat off to the exceptional talent that has come together for this exciting exhibition. This exhibition is not to be missed and I encourage everyone to visit before the end of November.”

Entries from all states and the ACT are represented in the STILL finalists exhibition at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. They include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, video, printmaking and textiles.

My thanks must go to all of the Award’s sponsors – Coffs Harbour Friends of the Gallery, Bryant McKinnon Lawyers, saso.creative, Moving Art, Andrew Peace Wines and Coffs Central.