Skip to content

McGregor Summer Art Retreat welcomes remote award-winning artist

More than 350 artists and musicians from all over Australia are making their way to Toowoomba for the annual McGregor Summer Art and Music Retreat.

The week-long event kicks off at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) this Sunday (January 13).

Winton-based artist Karen Stephens will travel 1,230km to attend following her win of the 2018 Flying Arts Alliance’s Regional Artist Award (Remote Artist).

“The opportunity means a great deal to me as an artist to continue learning new skills and connecting with like-minded people in the field of arts,” she said.

“I am looking forward to an intensive week of experimentation to expand my painting practice.

“I hope to learn new skills, network with other artists and maybe create a new body of work for exhibition.”

The Queensland Regional Art Awards is an annual visual arts prize and touring exhibition for established and emerging artists living in regional and remote Queensland.

Building on the longstanding 20-plus year partnership between USQ and hosts Flying Arts, USQ Artsworx sponsored the Remote Artist Award with a McGregor Summer School residency valued at $2,500.

Ms Stephens won for her work titled Mitchell, Feathertop and Flinders.

“The theme for the 2018 prize was ‘Wanderlust’ and my contemporary painting highlights one facet of the local landscape of Winton – the omnipresent grasses; Mitchell, Feathertop and Flinders that are seen by a traveller passing through this space,” she said.

“My painting also explores the relationship between spectator and space.

“The painting not only highlights artists working in remote regions but also promotes distant places with points of interest that may go unnoticed to those living in the greater areas of Queensland.”

Ms Stephens said she was excited to be chosen for the McGregor Bursary.

“The bursary is an incredibly generous gift for artists living at a great distance from the metropolitan area of Queensland,” she said.

Flying Arts CEO Kerryanne Farrer said she was thrilled that Karen would attend the renowned USQ McGregor Summer Arts Retreat.

“Karen's work is one of 26 artworks that have been selected for Wanderlust, the exhibition outcome of our Queensland Regional Art Awards, which will tour to a number of regional centres including Winton during 2019 – 2020."

Professor John O'Toole, Chair of Flying Arts, acknowledged the value of the longstanding partnership with USQ.

"This is a valuable opportunity for Flying Arts and USQ to work together to enhance and foster a vibrant visual arts sector in regional Queensland through such awards,” he said.

“We look forward to hearing about Karen's visual arts immersion at USQ and to seeing her work from the Wanderlust exhibition.”

painted artwork
'Mitchell, Feathertop and Flinders' by Winton-based artist Karen Stephens