A farm morning tea last week set plans for the 2018 rural arts community — that of the Midge Point — Bloomsbury — Whitsundays region.
The 2014 Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize winner Gina Passfield invited the local arts community to her farm for the annual arts morning tea — usually a high tea at the Point Tavern.
A farm spread morning tea it was, to match any Miss Marple Mary St Medes morning tea, with 15 key strategist artists turning up to think about next year's art prize.
The in-take of the arts community runs from O'Connell River — Midge Point and Bloomsbury in the north ad to the south Kutterbull and Calen. This is typical rural Australia — it could be anywhere, a salt of the earth community.
The art prize is part of Well-Being Australia's ministries with rural art communities, the first was way back in 2003 with the Basil Sellers Moruya Art Prize (NSW south coast) which has now extended to the 5 local rural Shires. The Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize was initiated in 2013.
Art brings rural communities together as it does Midge Point and Bloomsbury. In this instance, the art finalists are displayed at the Point Tavern for 4–5 weeks where patrons are able to view and admire the works.
2018 will see the art prize divided into two groups, the northern and southern areas, and the reason is a simple one, logistics: it is a 45–50 minute drive from Calen in the south to Midge Point in the north.
There are several trips required — delivery of the art works, the official opening and then collection of the works after the display period. In addition, any opportunity to show friends and art visitors means another 45–50 minute trip. This created something of a lack of interest with such logistical upfront expenses.
To overcome this, two art receiving areas are being established, one in the south and another in the north.
The best 4 from the south will be combined with the best 6 from the north for the independent judge to make a determination for the 2018 winner.
Well-Being Australia is engaged in a number of rural community focused ministries; mind you, WBA does not in any way shape or form have a monopoly on any of these.
They have appeared as necessity happen-stance as the Lord has led.
Country Town Tours to rural and regional Australia is a hallmark of the Well-Being Australia ministry, often times over these many years with a Christian athlete or coach. A recent CTT was to Victor Harbour hosted by a member of the Victor Harbour Chamber of Commerce.
Another, as described above is the arts as a ministry vehicle along with the young writer ministry through Press Service International in conjunction with Christian Today.
To this end the Well-Being Australia respite facilities such as in Moruya, Tweed Heads and Laguna Quays on the Whitsundays are a hallmark.
To this end in Midge Point has been established a bi-annual business luncheon and a community fancy dress afternoon. The art prize, the annual arts morning tea, and one of the young writers Josh Hinds established in 2012 an online weekly news with the same editor that ran the old hard copy monthly edition.
Community ministry is rural and regional Australia continues to bear fruit in its many shapes and forms, with Well-Being Australia's model illustrating a very small but tangible expression of it to the glory of the Lord.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html