The chair of Corowa's long running Federation Art and Photography Prize is hoping to inspire the next generation of creative country kids to pursue the arts, as he celebrates the exhibition going ahead during a lockdown-riddled year.
Aaron Nicholls said young people were encouraged to be a part of the show just as much as established artists.
"If we're not encouraging young people to discover their creative selves, if we're not encouraging young people to get involved in community events, if we're not encouraging young people to come to art galleries or art prizes, then we're really not doing a lot," he said.
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Mr Nicholls said rural youth had less access to exhibitions and galleries.
"Young people in country areas are limited to their experience of art," he said.
Mr Nicholls, who grew up in Corowa, said a year 11 field trip to the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne had heavily influenced his own creative life path.
"That inspired me to embark on my career, I'm an interior designer," he said.
It was the merging of art and architecture as a consequence of that field trip that made me go 'oh, wow, this is so amazing'.Aaron Nicholls
"It was the merging of art and architecture as a consequence of that field trip that made me go 'oh, wow, this is so amazing'.
"Country kids don't get that opportunity, so the least we can do is at least encourage young people to come."
The art and photography exhibitions, this year combined into one event, are opening on Friday night at 6pm at the Corowa Memorial Hall and will run until November 2.
Mr Nicholls said the committee was excited to run the event during a lockdown-riddled year.
"We are really pleased that we are able to put a show on this year in the face of adversity when so many other things have been cancelled," he said.
"Our response was to put the show on, keep it running until such a time as the federal or state government said 'no'."
Mr Nicholls said people around the district were craving art.
"The thing that warms my heart the most is people producing art to lose themselves in the creative spirit for a bit," he said.
"If you've got time to be at home by yourself, the best thing you can do is to distract yourself from the ugliness, I suppose.
"When there's nothing else there's always art."
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