NEWS is to hand that Paul McDermott has become the Patron of the Arts 2014 for CAPO (Capital Arts Patrons Organisation), replacing former vice-regal spouse Michael Bryce, CAPO’s Patron for the past 5 years.
Originally known as a member of the Doug Anthony All Stars, which began its life busking on the streets of Canberra when he was studying at the ANU School of Art, McDermott’s artistic credentials are impeccable. After the All Stars faded from sight, he moved on to host “Good News Week,” “Strictly Dancing” and “The Sideshow,” a hothouse for performance artists. So famous was he that he was also asked to write columns for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Weekend Australian and The Age.
But McDermott’s love of illustrations nurtured at the School of Art has never left him and he continued to paint and draw in a studio under his home in Sydney. Nowadays he is increasingly known more and more for his intimate solo exhibition “The Dark Garden,” replete with songs and funny stories as well as visuals.
Shane Breynard, Director of CMAG , which will host the CAPO awards at the end of the year for the second time, can hardly hide his enthusiasm, saying, “Paul has long been a champion for the arts in its myriad forms, and I have no doubt his inimitable charm will turn the gaze of a new generation of artists and patrons to CAPO in the years ahead.”
Charm? Well, not everybody would agree with that, but you’d have to agree that CAPO has instantly raised the profile, if not the tone, of Canberra’s unique conjunction between arts and business.