Moore Park Beach Arts winners announced

Moore Park Beach Arts Festival
Moore Park Beach Arts Festival art director Rhonda Carpenter with Creative Textile winner Cheryl Hay

Bundaberg Now is pleased to publish the list of winners from the 105 entries in the Moore Park Beach Arts Festival with Brooke Sutton taking out the prestigious oils and acrylics prize.

The Moore Park Beach Arts Festival is always an admired event on the seaside community’s calendar, and with a plethora of talented artists in the Bundaberg Region, the festival’s art competition was intense and described as “world class” by the judges on Friday night.

The art competition had 105 entries in nine categories from artists young and old.

The competition was judged by Bundaberg Regional Galleries Curator Anita Holtsclaw, local artist and tutor at U3A Ross Driver and his wife and award-winning photographer Wendy Driver.

Ross said the art festival had been running for two decades and each year the entries in the art section improved in quality and this year he believed there was “world class” art exhibited.

“I judged the art sections in conjunction with Anita and there were some really beautiful pieces,” Ross said.

“The artwork really was of international standard; the top in Australia I would think.

“The artwork of an octopus and jellyfish coming to the surface of the ocean by Brooke Sutton was world class! She is an amazing upcoming artist.”

Moore Park Beach Arts Festival
Moore Park Beach Arts Festival Art Judges Wendy and Ross Driver stand near the winning work by Brooke Sutton.

As a professional artist himself, Ross said one of his first artworks received an award at the Moore Park Beach Arts Festival and this inspired him to follow his passion and create art, which has now been recognised all over Australia.

“It was that award that helped me go on and exhibit all over Australia,” Ross said.

“I entered and won first prize at the Royal Sydney Show for my watercolour, pen and ink piece. I hope artists take inspiration from this event like I did.”

Wendy judged the stunning photography section along with the textile pieces, and she said it was hard to choose a winner for each category.

“Moore Park Beach was a popular theme among the photography and each photo was unique and lovely,” Wendy said.

“I just loved the monochrome piece photo and the turtle shot that was taken at Moore Park Beach was very nice.”

Moore Park Beach Arts Festival winners


  • Winner – Gail Thomas “My Best Mates”        
  • Highly Commended – Sue Draney “Pretty in Pink”


  • Winner – Ray Sparks “Stockman”    
  • Highly Commended – Jake Thompson “Celestial Rain”


  • Winner – John Anderson “Sojern”
  • Highly Commended – Dale Leard “Simpson Desert”


  • Winner – Rae Watson “Sandy Camp Road”
  • Highly Commended – John Anderson “Shallow Inlet”


  • Winner – Brooke Sutton “To Swim”
  • Highly Commended – Tony Love “The Pink Pub”


  • Winner – Mary Thompson “Kakadu Dreaming”
  • Highly Commended – Darelle Martin “Tern Shadow”


  • Winner – Carmen Maybanks “Beach Layers”
  • Highly Commended – Rhonda Caprenter “Behind the Fence”


  • Winner – Cheryl Hay “Starts of the Bush”
  • Highly Commended – Carmen Maybanks “Abstract”

PHOTOGRAPHY (Category 1 Moore Park Beach):

  • Winner – Verne Cook “Turtle Time on MPB”
  • Highly Commended – Verne Cook “The Journey Begins”

PHOTOGRAPHY (Category 2 Weather):

  • Winner – Verne Cook “Storm Coming”
  • No highly commended

PHOTOGRAPHY (Category 3 Black and White):

Winner – Rhonda Carpenter “Dad’s Spot”

Highly Commended – Kasi Samuels “I See You”

The Moore Park Beach Arts Festival continues tomorrow, 17 August, showcasing the region's creative talent.

Artist Ray Sparks was the winner of the Moore Park Beach Arts Festival
Artist Ray Sparks was the winner of the Moore Park Beach Arts Festival graphite and charcoal section with his artwork Stockman.

Saturday festivities

The Moore Park Beach Arts Festival party ramps up on Saturday, 17 August with two huge free community festival days at the Moore Park Beach Oval.

There will be market stalls, art exhibitions, workshops and a fantastic line-up of live entertainment throughout the day from some of Bundaberg's best musicians.

There will be a very special headline act soon to be announced and don’t forget the fireworks on Saturday night for everyone to enjoy.

This year, the festival will have an added feature, a Pacific Island Village, allowing event-goers to embrace and experience the cultural diversity of the region with a unique interactive display by the Ol Meri Wantok group, an organisation that promotes the cultural arts and craft of the South Pacific Island Nations.