The Artist’s Voice was established in 1997 when Hahndorf artist, Helen Lyons, sought the assistance of Mt Barker District Council’s Tourism Officer, Barry Wilkins, to inaugurate an Art Prize to honour the memory the iconic Australian artist, Sir Hans Heysen, who had lived at The Cedars, a property which adjoined her own just out of Hahndorf.
Helen wanted “a week where artists came together to study Heysen’s techniques and to paint.”
Barry was an unusual tourism officer because he had a strong interest in “cultural tourism.” He met with local artists who had staged exhibitions in businesses in Hahndorf as part of the Heysen Festival. These exhibitions later became known as “The Artists’ Trail.” Barry wanted to understand these artists’ visions for art in the Hills so an inaugural meeting was held to attract local artists to have a collective voice in the Hills.
By April 1998, The Artist’s Voice had become an Incorporated body. They held regular meetings in various Members’ homes wherein a range of ideas, details of exhibitions and opportunities to exhibit as a group were discussed. By 2000, a mutually beneficial collaboration between the Mount Barker Council, the Hahndorf Academy and The Artist’s Voice had been established. At that time, the Artist’s Voice agreed to upgrade the largely unused gallery upstairs in the Hahndorf Academy for use as its exhibition space. In 2001, members held a silent auction to raise money for the Academy’s Roof Replacement Fund. In that same year, three exhibitions were held and the first was opened by Barry Wilkins. In 2006, the AV members repainted the gallery at Hahndorf Academy.
Click this link to view a PDF of the Booklet produced by The Artist's Voice to commemorate their 20 Year Anniversary.
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