ARTEFACTS: From figurative to the abstract

Collection Highlight

John van der Kolk, Siren # 7  2010, Cedar, sally wattle and silky oak, 58 x 43.5 x 28.5cm, Purchased 2010
John van der Kolk, Siren # 7 2010, Cedar, sally wattle and silky oak, 58 x 43.5 x 28.5cm, Purchased 2010

John van der Kolk
Siren # 7  2010
Cedar, sally wattle and silky oak
58 x 43.5 x 28.5cm
Purchased 2010

This beautiful wooden sculpture was purchased from the artist in his studio at Woolgoolga. Siren # 7 is from one of the artist's various series he works in and returns to through is his practice. It is currently on display at the gallery as part of the Into The Collection exhibition, a display of recent acquisitions into the collection.

John van der Kolk is a leading North Coast sculptor. He has exhibited extensively since 1990 nationally and internationally, carries out various commissions and presents sculpture workshops.

After training as an industrial designer/patternmaker in the plastics industry John began sculpting full time after moving to the mid north coast in 1990.  His fascination with sculpture or an object rather than an image leased to work ranging from figurative to the abstract. He shapes local wood to convey his concepts often in a whimsical way, with the wood in service to the artist's comments and narratives.



HSC Visual Art exhibition opening this week at Grafton Library. This exhibition celebrates the creative talent our year 12 students studying Visual Arts. Students develop a body of work exploring creative concept across all mediums including sculpture, painting drawing and mixed media. This not be missed exhibition is great celebrate of the milestone that is the HSC. The Gallery is open library hours and exhibition will be on display until mid December.

The exhibition Summer Sensations was inspired by the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.  The Summer Exhibition that has been running continuously since 1769 is the world's largest open submission art show and brings together art in all mediums - prints and paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more - by leading artists, Royal Academicians and household names as well as new and emerging talent. Grafton Regional Gallery is committed to supporting the artists of our region and Summer Sensations is the second exhibition in an ongoing annual project to celebrate local artists Summer Sensations celebrates the artists of the Clarence Valley and their wonderful creative contribution to the cultural vibrancy of the area. This open submission exhibition showcases artwork across all mediums and features artwork from emerging and established artists and is on display until 24 December at Grafton Regional Gallery.


Arts Northern Rivers - First Nations Visual Arts Scholarship

Applications are open for an inaugural First Nations Visual Arts Scholarship. Delivered in partnership with the Byron School of Art (BSA), the scholarship will sponsor a First Nations artist to participate in a year-long Visual Arts Foundation Course. Designed to provide an extensive grounding in the Visual Arts, students will gain knowledge, skills and experience needed to form an integrated understanding of contemporary visual arts ideas and practices. 

Attuned to the needs of individual students, the course is suitable to both emerging artists who wish to establish their practice and established artists who wish to refine or expand. The structured studio program incorporates approaches to a number of disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D studies, installation practice, digital media, design principles, colour theory , art history and critical thinking.  Closing date: Dec 18, 2020

This scholarship will be supported by Arts Northern Rivers Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) funding as well as the Arts Northern Rivers Gift Fund. Applications close December 18, visit for more information.

Exhibition Call - Out Our Place

Grafton Regional Gallery invites local artists, makers, creatives and the art curious, to make their mark on the new gallery by contributing to Our Place: Celebrating the Clarence. Participants of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to share their experiences of the region through any medium on canvas boards supplied by the gallery. 

To take part in this unique opportunity, any interested artists are asked to collect a canvas board from the gallery during opening hours, 10.00am and 3.00pm, 16 November 2020 - 23 December 2020.  To be included in Our Place: Celebrating the Clarence artists must return their finished canvas boards to the gallery between 9.00am and 4.00pm Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd  January 2021.


Christmas gifts from The Gallery Foundation

This Christmas, treat someone you care about to a memorable gift, while supporting the visual arts in the Clarence Valley. We have three luxurious products on offer: two fabulous hampers crammed with hand-crafted food and lip-smacking tipples, plus our signature linen blend tea towel, printed in Yamba. This fundraising initiative supports Grafton Regional Gallery infrastructure and acquisitions. Shipping within Australia can be added at check out. For destinations outside Australia, contact us for a quote. We recommend ordering before 9th December to ensure delivery by Christmas. To order your gift and support this great fundraiser visit


Whiteman Creek Pottery Xmas Workshop Sale

Geoff Crispin is a well known ceramist based on the Clarence Valley.  Pieces are available from the last of the big kiln firings and a smaller number  from the initial firing of the new kiln. The pots are made from a mix of local and commercially available materials.  Carved, combed, fluted and sgraffito decoration combined with wood ash, celadon, chun and golden teadust glazes. 12th 13th December from 10am - 5pm. The pottery is located approximately 23km north west of Grafton on the way to Copmanhurst. Signs will be in place at various points to assist clients to navigate their way to the pottery.

Expressions of interest: Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Yaegl artists

Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA) is seeking Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Yaegl artists who are living within the Clarence Valley Council LGA.National Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA) has been engaged by the Clarence Valley Council (CVC) to develop a contemporary Aboriginal design based on artworks from a Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Yaegl artist. 
The successful artists and artworks, to be decided by a selection panel, and developed into a contemporary design representing the three nations, this final design will be licensed by CVC and used across various media including clothing, signage, digitally, documents, promotional products, banners and other promotional material; paying respects to these three nations as the traditional owners.
For more information about the EOI and what is required please contact or call our office on 6658 1315. EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST CLOSE Monday 21 December 2020