Artist has winning recipe

Oil painting of fish and chips impresses art show judge's great to see Bendigo artists’ work is on par with those in the big city. - Darren Crothers

A BENDIGO artist has taken out an annual arts prize with an oil painting of a Friday night takeaway tradition.

Darren Crothers won the $5000 best in show prize in this year's Bendigo Rotary Club Easter Art Show for his work, titled Friday Night.

Crothers said the painting was in the Dutch tradition and its inspiration came from childhood memories of his family ordering fish and chips on a Friday.

"Like other families, Mum and Dad got a bit tired at the end of the working week and ordering fish and chips for dinner became a bit of a tradition," he said.

"I enter quite a lot of shows and I've entered here a number of years. It's nice to win this one in my home city."

Crothers praised the work of his fellow entrants.

"I think it is a really good show," he said.

"We’re getting a lot of Melbourne artists sending their work to Bendigo and it's great to see Bendigo artists’ work is on par with those in the big city.

"That says a lot for the way art is developing in Bendigo, a lot of the artists here are really coming along."

The Bendigo Advertiser sponsored the major prize.

The show also has four category awards and four highly commended awards.

Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum director Jennifer Kalionis judged the artwork, while this year's artist-in-residence is Bendigo painter Colin Brown.

The show features more than 700 paintings, which will adorn the Town Hall for the Easter long weekend.

The show's curator Brian Figg said about half the paintings were by local artists, including pieces by prominent Bendigo artists Geoff Paynter and Stan Thomas.

He also noted this year's show had drawn more entries from Melbourne.

"We've attracted more artists from Melbourne this year due to the cash award," Mr Figg said.

But he stressed that the show was open to all to partake. 

"There's a wide variety on offer," he said.

"It's a community art show – even hobby artists can display."

Mr Figg said about 200 people attended yesterday's launch and he was expecting 4000 to visit throughout the weekend.

He said all paintings were for sale and that most years about 20 per cent of artwork sold.

He said the total value of paintings on display was $430,000.

This is the 46th year the art show has been running and all proceeds from ticket sales go to local and overseas charities.

The show runs from today until 4pm Monday.

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