History of OS Art Expo

Save the bridge!

The first Art Expo was held in 2004. The theme was “The Brunswick River Bridge” which was to be demolished by the RTA to make way for the highway.

The intention was, despite the inevitable demolition of the 70-year old little bridge which the locals cherished, we would help to preserve its memory by painting it. Therefore, today there exist about 40 paintings of the historic timber bridge spread around the region.

Themes through the years

2023 · Celebration

The theme is “Celebration” as we acknowledge 20 years of supporting artists and associated cultural events in our local Community. The theme is very open and broad, understanding people celebrate in many different ways.

2022 · Looking Back – Moving Forward

‘Looking Back’ references the wonderful work and passing of our local historian Frank Mills with his incredible collection of stories, images and documents. The Vale Award has become the Frank Mills Historical Award in recognition of his contribution to the Community and the early years of the Art Expo.

‘Moving Forward’ references the spirit and resilience of our community moving forward after Covid and the recent floods.

2021 · Anything goes

2021 saw many changes for OSAE. The Expo was held online and a general theme was offered to reduce stress and support local artists.

2020 · 2020 – My Vision

The 2020 Art Expo was cancelled due to COVID-19. We’re sure everybody’s vision of the future now looks slightly different!

2016 · What Matters?

2016 asked the question “What Matters?” to distill what is really important to you in your life and your world.

2015 · Wild Things

2015 was a year of great appeal to the “Wild Things” within and around us.

2014 · Home

In response to the local and global issue of homelessness, we invited artists to paint to the theme “Home”.

2013 · It’s All About the Light

A quote by the late great artist Margaret Olley who was born in Lismore and always loved the Northern Rivers Region. Her colourful rooms from Paddington, The Hat Factory, have been recreated at the Tweed Gallery.

2011 · Life’s Surprises

In 2011 we reflected on “Life’s Surprises”, those things that delight, amaze and stop us in our tracks.

2010 · The Elements

In 2010 our theme, “The Elements”, reflected the way that we interact with earth, water, fire, air.

2008 · Belonging

In 2008 the political year started with a deeply powerful formal apology from the Commonwealth Government to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations.