Wimmera flocks to Art is... festival

LAYERS OF TIME: Ruby Sathratine digs for fossils in the sandpit at a Museum of Lands Past during the launch of the Art is... festival at the weekend. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

LAYERS OF TIME: Ruby Sathratine digs for fossils in the sandpit at a Museum of Lands Past during the launch of the Art is... festival at the weekend. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

ART is... festival organisers are delighted with the way the region embraced this year's festival.

The 11-day festival finished on Monday.

Festival manager Kate Finnerty said the program included a diverse range of events.

"Numbers were great and on the whole most events were very well attended," she said.

"Some had lower numbers mainly due to the weather it was a bit cold and grim at some of the events but overall it was fantastic."

Ms Finnerty said the Museum of Lands Past, which featured an eight-metre plesiosaur model, had proved a hit with festival-goers.

Many of Horsham's shop fronts were used as exhibition spaces for visual art throughout the festival.

"We really embraced the vacant shop idea this year which created a lot of energy in the town," Ms Finnerty said.

She said the festival's growth had expanded to attract visitors from around the region and the state.

"We had a couple of people come up from Melbourne who didn't want to travel interstate on the long weekend and saw the festival online," she said.

"They loved it and thought it was great."

Ms Finnerty said planning for next year's festival had already started.

"We're having a meeting with the Erth artists who created the Museum of Lands Past and talking about what went well and what we could do next year," she said.

"Next year we'll be focusing on people rather than the landscape within our theme of Layers of Time."

Ms Finnerty nominated a show based on the experiences of three artists known as the Australian Bureau of Worthiness as one of her highlights of the festival.

Ms Finnerty said songwriter and diplomat Fred Smith closed the festival with a moving performance at Wesley Performing Arts Centre on Monday night.

She thanked Horsham Real Estate, Horsham Rural City Council and the Art is... staff, volunteers and committee for making the festival a success.

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