Arts & Culture

Two inspiring art exhibitions launched in Historic Council Chambers

Published: 18 Sep 2019 1:45pm

By connecting the past with the present, budding artist Mark Huthwaite discovered he could forge his own identity while preserving the legacy of his renowned great-grandfather.

“We were asked to do something that represented Wagga and I thought of my great-grandfather because he was very well-known in his time,” Mark said.

William George Huthwaite established his first store in Baylis Street in 1906.

The business carried his name until it closed in 1981.

“I thought I knew a lot about him until I started searching,” Mark said.

“I didn’t know as much as I thought.”

Mark chose to focus on delivering a series of four paintings of his great-grandfather for a special exhibition in the Museum of the Riverina’s Historic Council Chambers site, launched on Tuesday.

He’s been working on the striking, abstract portraits inside The Art Factory, a nurturing environment operating within the Riverina Community College for eight weeks.

Mark uncovered a passion for art during his final year of high school, but after a series of personal challenges, he struggled to maintain a creative presence.

“I lost it a bit,” he admitted.

“I’ve really only found it again in the last year or so.”

Mark finds putting paint to canvas has a therapeutic effect, providing him with a powerful avenue for self-expression and emotional release.

“To me it’s like anything in here (my mind) can come out here (on canvas),” he said.

“If my mind is racing, my art is messy. If I’m in happy mood, my paintings are bright.

“It really helps to get things out, instead of keeping them inside.”

Mark is one of five artists with works hanging inside the Museum of the Riverina.

Fellow artist Jackie Meyers created an eye-catching portrait of Mayor Greg Conkey and previous Prime Minister Bob Hawke as part of her impressive collection of works.

“I like all of them,” Jackie declared.

Places and Faces – Wagga Wagga and WG Huthwaite will hang in the Museum of the Riverina’s Historic Council Chambers until November 3.

The exhibition is a partnership between the Museum of the Riverina, the Art Factory and Studio 90.