Not the Archies returns

Siena Chisholm''s portrait ''My Mum'' won the 2011 under 18s category award.

By Jed Lanyon

Budding artists of all ages and skill levels are invited to pick up their paintbrush and immortalise someone they admire, as Not the Archies returns to the Yarra Ranges after seven years.

To mark the return of the Archibald Prize to the TarraWarra Museum of Art for the first time since 2012, council is reviving Not the Archies and is calling on local artists to get involved for their chance to have their portraits shown in the streets of Healesville and Yarra Glen.

Yarra Ranges Mayor Tony Stevenson, said the commitment for Not the Archies was simple – paint or draw a portrait of someone in the community you admire.

“Living in the Yarra Ranges, where we have a vibrant and diverse community, I’m sure anyone could quickly name someone in the area they think is great,” Cr Stevenson said.

“Not the Archies is a chance to show that person – and the community – what they mean to you, by creating and exhibiting their portrait in September.

“Taking part is simple – we provide a uniform canvas to entrants for a small fee, then you just have to create a portrait and we’ll show it in the streets of Healesville and Yarra Glen, as well as through projection exhibition events in other townships.

“There are some great community programs similar to this, such as Face2Face in Warburton and the Upwey Archies, so it’s great to bring Not the Archies back to this side of the valley.”

Entrants to Not the Archies pay a fee of $10 for adults or $5 for entrants 17 and under and receive a canvas in a uniform size.

From there, they’re asked to paint a portrait of anyone they admire in the community, as long as they live, work or play in the Yarra Ranges.

Healesville’s Siena Chisholm won the under 18 category at the 2011 Not the Archies with a portrait of her mum Ali Griffin.

Ms Griffin said she was overwhelmed to see her daughter win the award at such a young age.

“It was amazing and very much surprising especially because she was only six at the time… It was very special night.”

Ms Griffin is a local artist who has participated in previous Not the Archies exhibitions as well.

She said she enjoys the community spirit of the Not the Archies and the fact that you get to paint the portrait of someone who inspires you.

“You have a think about who might inspire you and for some people that might be someone that they don’t know well and they get to know them by painting their portrait.

“And for people painting their mum, dad, child or friend, it lets them know that they are inspirational to them.”

This year’s Not the Archies will have great prizes in a number of categories, which will be announced shortly.

Submissions are due 30 September. For those wishing to get involved, visit:

Submitted portraits will be exhibited in a street gallery from 12 October to 15 November.


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