Locals in sculpture prize race

Geoff Farquhar-Stills' "Monaro totems".

Geoff Farquhar-Stills' "Monaro totems".

Arts in the city

• FOUR Canberra artists, Geoff Farquhar-Stills, Martin Rowney, Liz Kelly and Maryann Mussared, have been selected for the Willoughby Sculpture Prize, running until September 4. The gallery at 2 Small Street is a converted Walter Burley Griffin incinerator.

• AND there are another four Canberra artists in the finalists’ list for the 60th Blake Prize. Danie Mellor, Linzie Ellis, Kensuke Todo and Kate Murphy are all in the running for the famous award that asks artists to explore the religious and spiritual in art.

• NEWS is to hand that a street in Forde is to be named after Ursula Callus, founder of the Canberra International Festival of Chamber Music. This is wonderful, but we need more such arts community namings.

• THE Australian String Quartet’s line-up for its National Composers’ Forum in Adelaide this month includes Canberra’s Michael Sollis, whose work “So she moaned, and as she uttered her moans” will be workshopped and performed by the quartet. It’s been a fabulous year for Sollis, the director of the Griffyn Ensemble, co-winner of Wesley Music Foundation’s classical guitar composition competition and the joint composer of a kids’ musical about dinosaurs.

• THAT intrepid theatre director Nina Stevenson is staging “Hamlet”, re-written from the point of view of Queen Gertrude by local Shakespeare lover Kerrie Roberts. It’s at Tuggeranong Arts Centre as part of the Women’s Theatre Forum program, August 24-September 3. Bookings to 6293 1443.

• ON August 21, M16 Studios will celebrate its inaugural year at the Blaxland Centre Griffith with open day from 11am to 3pm. All are welcome. At 1pm there will be an arts debate, coyly announced in print under the topic: “What’s so good about art?” The actual title is “All art is bulls…t.” I know, I’m opposing the motion.

• FEDERAL Arts Minister Simon Crean has announced a discussion paper for a new National Cultural Policy. He’s urging us to have our say by October 21. Visit http://culture.arts.gov.au/have-your-say

• “MATERIAL Matters” at the ANU School of Art focuses on works from the Ceramics Workshop teaching collection. Bringing together work by staff, students and alumni, pieces by visiting artists and items from the permanent collection, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday, noon-5pm.

• SONGS by Mozart and Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann will be heard in Artsong’s next concert. British tenor Christopher Saunders and pianist Berta Brozgul will perform in Wesley Music Centre at 3pm, August 21.

• THE University of Canberra Chorale will perform Bach cantatas in St Paul’s Anglican Church, Manuka at 7.30pm, August 25.

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