Artist Wendy Webster with her painting Three Deep Traffic, which won an award at the 2018 Kilmore Art Expo.

KILMORE Art Expo organisers have called on the region’s painters, photographers and, for the first time, sculptors to take part in this year’s exhibition.

The 2020 expo was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, but director Andrea Willis said the annual event would bounce back bigger and better than ever for its 13th iteration.

She said the inclusion of a sculpture category would open the expo up to more artists this year.

“The main thing that is different this year is that we’ve got the sculpture category, which is a first for us,” she said.

“We have got contacts with the [Association of Sculptors of Victoria], and we have got a judge from that organisation. We’ll get some entries from that.

“We wanted to open this category last year, but the exhibition was cancelled at the last minute because of COVID. We’re doing it for the first time now, so it’s something different to come back with.

“The exhibits could be quite large, so we’re doing what we can to accommodate that.”

Ms Willis said the expo, from April 16 to 18, regularly attracted between 300 and 500 entries.

She called on the region’s artists to get involved and said there would be plenty of opportunities for young people as well.

“We have got all sorts of painting categories, including watercolour, pastels, oils, acrylic and then all other mediums including charcoal and things like that,” she said.

“The important thing is that we have awards for juniors both in painting and in photography. We have a primary school award and we have a secondary school award as well.

“We’re trying to contact the schools and go through them, but sometimes it’s initiated by parents to encourage their children to enter.

“We’ve contacted the Mitchell Photography Club and we’ll contact a lot of other arts societies, particularly in regional Victoria, so we’ll get entries from both metro Melbourne and regional Victoria.”

A total of $7500 in cash prizes will be awarded to winning artworks in different categories, including $1400 for best in show.

The expo will be from 10am to 4pm on April 17 and 18, with a preview night at 6.30pm on April 16.

Artists can sign up for the expo by visiting kilmoreartexpo.com to download an entry form or calling 0419 392 196. Entries close March 19.