Get your creative on for teeny tiny arts festival

OPEN YOUR EYES TO OPPORTUNITIES: Irene Ridgeway's fun little installation is a perfect example of happenstance art. Picture: Supplied

OPEN YOUR EYES TO OPPORTUNITIES: Irene Ridgeway's fun little installation is a perfect example of happenstance art. Picture: Supplied

Have you ever noticed that a particular tree looks like a face or realised you could arrange a group of rocks to look like a little house? Well, December might just be your time to shine.

The Parkes Community Arts Festival is on the way and Council's Creative Learning Programs Coordinator, Roxanne Gallacher, is urging people to get involved.

Organisers would love for this art festival to be something truly owned and embraced by the community.

You'll see the bright yellow posters in many local shop windows, highlighting some of what's on from December 11 to 18, but there are things you can get started on now.

"Happenstance art" is one of the ways the committee is hoping lots of people in the community can and will get involved.

It was one of the ideas that came up when they started planning during tighter COVID-19 restrictions, hoping to make at least some aspects of the festival "lockdown-proof".

"Happenstance art is making or finding art in the unexpected," Roxanne explained.

"Like the painted rocks phenomenon, seeing a tuft of grass and drawing a face around it or sticking googly eyes on a drainpipe."

Just to be clear, we're not encouraging graffiti or vandalism.

"It should be ephemeral," Roxanne said. "Chalk can wash off, pebbles can be rearranged and then picked up and rearranged by someone else."

If you're still uncertain or not quite confident enough to make a start, the good news is that there's a workshop to help with just that coming up on Saturday November 20.

Deb Jones, Irene Ridgeway and Helen Standen will be on hand to talk through what "happenstance art" is and get you started making something. Bookings for this workshop will be taken at the Parkes library.

One of the things you can do is create your happenstance art, take a picture of it and send it in for the Teeny Tiny Art Exhibition.

This exhibition is open to anyone, any age, any medium, with the committee particularly seeking images that would make a great postcard for the Parkes area.

This can be as obvious or obscure (or just plain fun) as you like. All entries will be printed A5 size for an exhibition in the Coventry Room open from December 11.

Entry forms for the Postcards from Parkes exhibition are available now on the Parkes Community Arts Facebook page or from the library.

The Festival program also features a series of workshops in the Marramarra Makerspace, with some open hours and badge making.

Helen Gray will run a lino print and card making workshop, and Renelle from the Pop Up Succulent Shop (Bathurst) will host workshops on kokedama, making a succulent Christmas wreath, and making a succulent Christmas tree.

Times, dates and prices on the Parkes Community Arts Festival Facebook page.

A soiree at the Little Theatre is one of the other big features of the week-long arts festival.

Those who attended last year will be familiar with the PechaKucha format of storytelling: a visually-driven presentation where you progress through 20 slides, with 20 seconds to speak about each.

"This year we will be focussing on performing arts in the shire," Roxanne said.

"It will be a catered event with entertainment, and we will announce the Australia Day cultural award nominees."

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