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The photos above epitomise the 2011 Archibald Prize opening party at Tarrawarra Museum of Art last Saturday night.  It was a fitting celebration. A night when the community came together in style and enjoyed a great moment in Australian art history.  Chairman of the TWMA Board of Directors, Marc Beson AO, encouraged the crowd to enjoy the party.  The couple above, Helen and Morris Margolis, took him at his word. Having utterly enjoyed the exhibition, they were moved to dance the night away, with Adam Chang’s portrait of John Coetzee looking on.

Others were settled in to the restaurant space, drinking fine Yarra Valley wines, eating good food and enjoying conversations about art and life and the Archibald Prize.  Ahhh life doesn’t get any better than that.

Photographer Kerry Cross and I talked non-stop all the way home.  We couldn’t wait to see the photos up on the screen and prepare them for this post.  Once Kerry had skillfully put the triptych together…he’s a magician… he brought it up, full screen, and we played Maria Callas singing Habanera from Biset’s opera ‘Carmen’, to accompany the experience. We sat motionless, with those beautiful sounds ringing in our ears and that great image evoking our memories of a very special night. Our thanks to TWMA and Archibald finalists for providing us with an experience we will never forget.

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John Scurry Quintet

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I know I’ve said it before, but whatever else you do this month, get out to TWMA to enjoy this extraordinary experience!

All photographs in this post are by Kerry Cross ©.