The Wheatbelt comes alive with the advent of autumn. The last gasp of the summer heat subsides with the glorious cooler evenings and warm days. In Beverley, the stirring of the start of the productive season is mixed with the exciting preparations for the Easter Weekend, the opening of our tourism period.
Those of us who live in Beverley know her secrets. This is a quirky, thriving, friendly little community, a stone’s throw from the Big Smoke with every building on the main street either tenanted or being renovated. We have Art Deco and Federation on display all year. We have delights for residents and tourists alike, regardless of the time.
We have four distinct seasons. Summer is bloody hot, autumn cools our souls and signals the start of renewal, winter is cold, crisp and green and spring reverberates with colour, the noise of animal babies and the climax of our nurtured crops.
But Easter is special. The Station Gallery presented its annual art prize. The Exhibition was held in the Town Hall and displayed outstanding works to admire and buy. Dozens of paintings sold and the Gallery acquired the inaugural Beverley Art Prize painting. Best local artist of 2014, Pat Lane donated an oil painting which was raffled and best local artist of 2015, Marian Alexander will provide one of her works for next year’s raffle.
The Dead Finish Museum, always great for a visit, launched its World War 1 exhibition and received very favourable comments. Having wandered through Dead Finish myself, I can only assume that the WW1 memorabilia would have added to its marvellous existing atmosphere. Psst, the “Remembering Them” exhibition runs every weekend until September.
Avondale Discovery Farm delighted the public with its history, horses, buildings and activities. Comet and Robbie, the two resident Clydesdales always enjoy a bit of raz mattaz on open weekends and I have it (from the horse’s mouth!!) that they love their upgraded stables.
The Easter Tennis Tournament was an absolute blast of fiercely contested tennis, great camaraderie and …a Bogan Sundowner. Having met one of the revellers on the street at the ATM, I can honestly confess that I was speechless. That does not happen often to me.
We had markets galore, loads of people on the main drag, magic weather and an amazing buzz. The East End Studio (now moved and rebadged as Unique State) provided its pretty homewares, upcycled furniture and artworks throughout the weekend. The Studio also hosted the Station Gallery’s Artist in Residence for April, the extraordinary Luis Fuentes who had travelled all the way from Peru. We enjoyed meeting Luis very much and he was most taken with our East End Gallery.
And mentioning the East End Gallery, they came, they saw, they enthused. We finished the latest extension at the East End Gallery just in time for the Easter long weekend. With seventy different art pieces, slumped glass and silver jewellery, we had something for everyone. We’ve had kids, dogs and adults through the Gallery, all giving us tremendous encouragement. We have never been so proud in all our lives.
After the fabulous opening night, complete with live music, we had leftovers to offer the next day. Late on Good Friday, I gave the remaining cakes from the Red Vault to Janet the caravan park manager. She was delighted as she was about to be inundated with grandchildren and hadn’t had a chance to bake. A very happy visitor to the East End Gallery.
Our daughter Vanessa provided muffins all weekend. And she looked after the house, the animals and prepared dinner every night. She and her friend Jacinta had been the waitresses on Thursday night and they just kept our home ticking. We could not have done it without them.
Our son Callum orchestrated the catering event of the century on Thursday evening, Opening Night. A cafe manager, ballroom dance teacher and relief primary school teacher, he freely gave his time and gave me one less reason to have a nervous breakdown.
We had our artists popping in all weekend. Pat Lane, Denese Borlini, Murray Cook, Shane Moad, Michelle Rothwell and Chris Shannon came in to offer their support. We met other artists who had exhibited in the Beverley Art Prize. They were excited by the concept of having a permanent Gallery established in Beverley to complement the Station Arts Gallery and the East End Studio. We hope to include some of these artists in our Winter Exhibition.
All in all, we had a wonderful Easter weekend. I am so awestruck by Michael’s vision and his ability to bring the East End Gallery into being. We have one-quarter of the Gallery still to renovate. Once Michael recovers his sense of humour and his well-being, we will be all systems go to finish the project!
In the meantime, we are open at the East End Gallery, 116 Vincent Street, Beverley on Fridays – Sundays 11am -5pm, public holidays 11am – 5pm and other mutually agreeable times. Check us out on Facebook or our website.