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Bittersweet Symphony

November 8 2021 by Scott Kennedy

Bittersweet Symphony

This Friday, the 12th of November is a big day for us at The Arts Centre - it’s the night of our annual Art Awards and it’s also very likely the night of our very last art awards at The Arts Centre… You’ve heard the news by now, our time here in our home of twenty years is running short, but that’s not what this tale is all about. This story isn’t about where, but why we do it.

Friedrich Nietzsche said that, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” And for us as an artistic community our art awards are all about that, not art, but gratitude. Gratitude to the humble artists that toil in the solitude of creativity to emerge like springtime butterflies and gift to us, the fruits of their creation.

Yes, this is a bittersweet night for us - it’s the end of an era. But we know it’s not the end of our community. When our Arts Centre shuts its door for the last time next year, we don’t want your tears - we want your gratitude, not for this place, but for our artistic community. And this Friday, it’s all about gratitude.

Awards for creativity and the concept of competitive art is an easy one to misjudge - where winners and therefore losers are selected. But the reality is, it’s not about the best, it’s about the rising tide. The waves of creativity and winds of inspiration that are whipped up and sweep through the room.

It’s easy to think of Queenstown as a place that needs to import its creativity. We’re at the metaphorical end of a one-way road at the far corner of the globe. But that’s not the case - our home has nurtured generations of artists many of which have been hiding in plain sight. And these awards are all about shining a light on these hard-grafting souls who don’t do it for the awards - but if we drill right down - they do it for you. They spend their lives creating so that your world is a little bit brighter and I think in these tough times, the world needs all the light we can gather.

So come and see us on Friday, The Queenstown Arts Centre, the corner of Ballarat and Stanley Street from 6pm. We’ll be there, so will the artists and so will their work. And even though nothing lasts forever - you, the art, the artists and the community we’ve forged together are going to last for a long, long time.

And besides, it’s always a great party.

Scott Kennedy
Community Arts Coordinator at the Queenstown Arts Centre

- Scott Kennedy