Gerringong festival to celebrate Lloyd Rees

Organisers of the Lloyd Rees Festival are hoping to unearth some lesser known works by the celebrated Australian landscape artist for a special exhibition to be held in Gerringong later this year.

The Lloyd Rees Festival will take place in Gerringong throughout November and will include exhibitions of the artist's works, tours of the painting sites, art classes and food events. It will not only celebrate Rees, but also the landscapes of Gerringong and its surrounds which inspired him.

The festival coincides with the 25th anniversary of the acclaimed artist's death.

As part of the festival the organising committee wants to track down works that may be hanging on walls in homes across the Illawarra and South Coast for a special exhibition to be held at the Mercure in Gerringong for four days starting on October 31.

Rees owned a home at Werri Beach where he painted many of his best-known works. Last month Rees became the first inductee to the Kiama Arts Honour Roll.

Director of the Kiama Art Gallery, Andrea Hope, said Rees was a prolific painter for many years and it was believed there were a number of his works in homes across the region.

"[Rees] had his holiday home at Werri Beach so many people may have known him personally ... he was a very personable man," Ms Hope said.

"The artworks may have been passed on through families, others may have purchased them at local galleries or Sydney galleries or at auction houses," she said.

Anyone willing to lend their Rees artwork for the four-day exhibition can contact Ms Hope on 0402 841 638.

Meantime, the Art Gallery of NSW has agreed to lend a range of Rees's works for an exhibition at Shoalhaven City Arts Centre from October to December, linking with the festival.

Ms Hope said the community-based not-for-profit festival was already generating plenty of excitement and had the support of Rees's son Alan.

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