The power of our ‘arts heroes’ celebrated

THE achievements of 16 artists and arts patrons who have contributed to the City of Glenorchy from 1864 to 2014 were celebrated during the “Arts Heroes of Glenorchy Postcards” official launch at the Moonah Arts Centre last month.

Developed by the Glenorchy Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, 10 postcards have been produced that depict individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to arts and culture in the municipality.

The “arts heroes” are Lucien Dechaineux, Edith Holmes, Nan Chauncy, Claudio Alcorso, Mollie Tomlin, Lyall and Mavis Beven, Lennah Newson and Eva Richardson, the Kravats, Robert Grubb and David Walsh.

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston said the Arts Heroes of Glenorchy Postcards project demonstrated the commitment many people have had to the arts for many generations.

“Glenorchy has had many heroes during its 150-year history and it is important to acknowledge the creative people whose work and energy has left a lasting legacy,” she said.

“This project offers us an opportunity to learn from them and to take their examples of leadership and make it part of our city’s very bright future and commitment to valuing arts and culture.”

Glenorchy Arts and Culture Advisory Committee chairwoman Jenny Branch-Allen said the project’s working group had a very difficult time selecting the artists to feature on the postcards, as there were so many worthy contributors to choose from.

“The included artists and patrons represent a very broad range of arts and cultural fields during the past 150 years,” she said.

Several of the featured artists were at the launch, including Lyall and Mavis Beven, Aunty Eva Richardson and Kravats members Max Johns, Barry Woodruff and Noel Best.

The other artists were represented by family members and supporters.

Alderman Branch-Allen said as well as being enjoyed by members of the community, it was hoped that the postcards would be a valuable resource for schools as part of the new Australian Curriculum, which requires students to research and understand history in a local context.

The postcards are free and available from the Moonah Arts Centre and the Glenorchy City Council Customer Service Centre.

For more information on the Glenorchy Arts Heroes, go to

Arts Heroes of Glenorchy:

Lucien Dechaineux (1869-1957) – An artist and teacher, known for his artwork in watercolour and oil painting.

Edith Holmes (1893-1973) – A painter and advocate for women’s rights, who received a special award in 1972 for her contribution to the arts.

Nan Chauncy (1900-1970) – A conservationist and writer of 13 books, most notably “They Found a Cave,” which was made into a feature film.

Claudio Alcorso (1913-2000) – A generous patron of the arts and a pioneer of the Tasmanian wine industry. His legacy lives on through the Alcorso Foundation, established after his death, committed to supporting the arts and social justice issues.

Mollie Tomlin (1923-2009) – A painter well known for her watercolour maps and illustrations in the Glenorchy 1804-1964/1964-1998 series of books by Alison Alexander, as well as for her depictions of local landmarks.

Lyall (b 1928) and Mavis (b 1928) Beven – Baritone and soprano singers respectively who had an extensive career in theatre, opera and as solo performers. The pair is still involved in the performing arts.

Lennah Newson (1940-2005) and Eva Richardson (b 1936) – Both women are well recognised for their work in traditional indigenous practice, specifically basket weaving. They are widely regarded for their involvement in bringing back tradition and their use of natural and found materials.

The Kravats – A popular music band formed in 1957/58, comprising Barry and Ray Woodruff, Noel Best, Richard ‘Titch’ Millhouse and Max Johns. During their peak in the 1960s they had five top 40 Tasmanian hits.

Robert Grubb (b 1950) – An actor who has had roles in a number of Australian television productions including The Flying Doctors, Blue Heelers and Sea Change. He has also starred in several stage productions winning a Helpmann Award for the Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

David Walsh (b 1961) – An arts patron, collector and writer perhaps best known for the establishment of the world class Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which has been a major driver of tourism in Tasmania.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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