The Friends of the University and the University Gallery have joined forces to revive a much loved iconic Newcastle exhibition and art sale, the Collectors’ Choice.
Etched in Newcastle’s art history is the vision of avid art tragics who used to sleep in the streets outside Cooks Hill’s iconic von Bertouch Gallery for first choice at the famed exhibition, run for many years by local art legend Anne von Bertouch.
Each year until her death and close of the gallery in 2003, Ms von Bertouch held an annual exhibit with artworks at a reduced price to thank the artists and people who supported the gallery.
Collectors’ Choice curator and former manager of the von Bertouch Gallery, Gael Davies, said the original art sale opened up art to a wider audience and gave art lovers a chance to secure significant contemporary works at an affordable price.
“This exhibition represents a rare opportunity to add the work of significant artists to personal art collections,” Ms Davies said.
“People would queue for days in the street, year after year for the chance to buy their favourite paintings by Australia’s greatest contemporary artists.”
Works by Hunter artists will be among those on exhibition, including a number of Aboriginal artworks from the Central Desert and Pre-Columbian regions.No piece will be priced over $2000.
Friends of the University, who run the biennial book fair at the University Great Hall, will host the revived Collectors’ Choice exhibition on each alternate year to raise funds for student scholarships.
The Friends will also award an Acquisitive Prize of $6000 and have instated the Margaret Olley Post Graduate Scholarship in Fine Art.
The winners will be announced at the University Gallery on Friday, August 17 at 6pm.
“We can be thankful for much that Anne von Bertouch gave Newcastle,” Friends of the University’s President, Vic Levi said.
“Reviving the Collectors’ Choice exhibit is a great opportunity to for us give back to the city something that has been etched deeply in the hearts and minds of all art lovers,” he said.
The Collectors’ Choice exhibition will be held from August 15 to 19 at the University’s Callaghan campus. The works will be previewed from 12pm today and the sale begins 6pm Friday.
For more information contact: University Gallery Curator Gillean Shaw on 4921 5255.