The Blue Mountains have long been known as a refuge for artists of all persuasions, and this June long weekend sees the annual bentART exhibition, to be held in Wentworth Falls for the eighth year running.

In those eight years, bentART has progressed from a small community event for local artists to showcase their work to an Australia-wide exhibition offering substantial prize money. It is curated by Sophie Seeger and Jane Canfield, both established artists and Blue Mountains residents.

“Artists from the Blue Mountains, Sydney and interstate come together to form one of Australia’s largest GLBT art events which showcases the diverse and creative voices that exist in our community,” bentART president Sharryn Ryan said.

Artists will compete in a wide range of media, from painting and photography to sculpture and mixed media, for a prize pool of more than $6000.

Last year’s winner of the bentART prize was a video installation by first-time entrant Katherine Corcoran called The Space Between, while the People’s Choice award was taken out by Sydney artist April White for Her Song.

Damian Beaumont of ABC Just Classic FM will MC this year’s June 8 opening night.

“The opening night forms a wonderfully social start to the pink festivities that make up the long weekend in the mountains,” Ryan said.

“All the entries in the exhibition are for sale, so it’s also a perfect opportunity to go home with a new piece of contemporary queer art.”

The Blue Mountains is host to a number of LGBTQI events during the long weekend as part of pinkFEST, including the popular dance at Blackheath on June 9 and the Three Sisters Costume Ball on June 10.

The bentART exhibition is being held at the Wentworth Falls Art School and runs June 8 – 11.

INFO: www.bentart.com.au

PICTURED: April White’s ‘Her Song’.

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