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Scenic Rim Arts Dinner @ AITO

Proudly presented as part of Arts in the Olives, Scenic Rim’s second ARTS DINNER for 2022, will be an expansion of the weekends program, featuring five very special guests talking about Community, Connection and Creativity.


Enjoy a delicious meal and beverage from a local provider, in amongst the olive trees, and listen to four established artists through a panel presentation, as they talk about their craft, their journey to where they are now, and why they are part of Arts in the Olives.

The panel will unpack why it is important to have arts festivals and unique places for audiences to engage in, and with art.

WHEN & WHERE:  Saturday 7th May @ Olive View Estate, 58 Kulgun Rd, Kulgun via Boonah

TIME:  5.30 for a 6pm start                 

COST:  FREE but registration essential

BOOKINGS:  Online  or at the Box Office or by phoning 07 55405050

Your ticket includes entry to the festival from 5.30pm Saturday, single course dinner, and a beverage voucher. ARTS DINNER tickets to this event are limited to fifty (50) people.

If you are already attending the festival, and would like dinner with the presentation, you will need to register for the ARTS DINNER.



Panelists for this very special Arts Dinner are:


Natasha Edwards

Co Founder / Artistic Director / Curator

Swell Sculpture Festival

As Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the iconic SWELL Sculpture Festival, Natasha brings a wealth of artistic and business knowledge to the public art sector. In addition to curating and overseeing 18 years of SWELL, Natasha’s recent projects include work as curator of the ANZAC Day 100 Year centenary Poppies Project, curator of the Brisbane Airport Corporation ‘Art with Altitude’ exhibition and public art programming for the Gold Coast Rapid Transport Light Rail bid, Palm Beach Parklands, Surfers Paradise Alliance and installations for the Woodford Folk Festival. Awarded the City of Gold Coast 2013 Australia Day Cultural Achievement Award and an honorary life member of the Sculptors Society Gold Coast, Natasha is a dedicated and a passionate supporter of sculpture in public spaces, connecting people, art and place.

Dee Steinford

Executive Director

Swell Sculpture Festival

Dee’s focus is on facilitating a connecting between people, art, culture and business. Holding a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and having worked in the arts and culture industry for years on many projects, we welcome Dee as Executive Director of SWELL Sculpture Festival. Dee’s passion for and appreciation of art combined with extensive accounts and finance work in both private and not for profit companies has led Dee to where she is today. Being an integral part of the SWELL Team for eight years with roles ranging from Volunteer Manager, Accounts Manager, Creative Producer, and Executive Director since 2018, Dee brings with her, the skill of high-level people management, operational and business nous.


Paul Stumkat

With a background possessing 45 years experience in Museum exhibitions, Paul has cultivated skills in Palaeontology, Dinosaur Sculpture and Display Design and construction. This has enabled him to partake in the production of innovative displays, accurate scientific models and the production of world class exhibitions. His experience of working in an accurate historical subject matter has been incorporated into many sculpture commissions for cities and rural shires.

Various awards for sculpture over the past 45 years have been presented to him. With major commissions awarded by institutions such as the Queensland Museum, National Parks and Wildlife, Regional Shires such as Winton, Richmond, Warwick, Tamborine, Isisford, and the Movie Industry.

Paul regularly conducts workshops where great satisfaction is gained from passing skills to students.

In 2002 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study dinosaur sculpting techniques in Canada, America and England. Information gathered from this scholarship has been shared with museums and relevant societies.

For 6 years he has worked as the curator of Palaeontology for Outback Queensland’s best fossil museum Kronosaurus Korner. Renovating a major gallery and repatriating and displaying Australia’s most complete vertebrate fossil the Richmond Polycotylid, a 100 myo large extinct marine reptile as well as creating numerous scientific models for the museums display galleries.

He is a life member of Society of Sculptors Qld, actively participates in regional arts groups and has Art directed three major international sculpture symposia for Southern Downs Regional Council. Studio locations are in Killarney and Barcaldine. He currently works with partner Cheryl Thompson, a local Yinigai women on developing Palaeontological experiences and Aboriginal cultural experiences within the Queensland Outback.

Jo Davies

Jo sees Community Arts as potent means of communication that give humans ways to connect, and ways to understand and digest very complex situations and information. Given opportunities to engage emotionally with stories and creative images from others’ lives and viewpoints via live theatrical performances, visual arts, music and film, Jo has witnessed her own attitudes and values being subtly transformed over time. She is confident in the deep value of Community Arts in their capacity for building more coherence and vitality in communities.


Community theatre involvement:

When Jo and her husband Rob first moved to The Scenic Rim 20 years ago, they jumped into local the local arts community, boots and all. Boonah was celebrating the opening of The Cultural Centre, with the first of many ‘Arts Spectacular’ events and Jo became passionately involved as a director of several of the scenes in each of the outdoor staged productions, organised biennially over the next decade. For 6 months prior to each performance, Jo was engaged in running workshops, working with the community to make stage props and costumes. She also prepared multiple choirs of school children and adult singers for their performances.

A highlight for Jo was in 2008 when she was awarded the role of Creative Director and writer of the community theatre production called ‘Imprints – The Show’ which had 4 stages and involved a total of 250 people as performers and workers behind the scenes.

Five years later Jo directed two of the community theatre performances that were part of the ‘What’s your 10’ event at The Boonah Cultural Centre.

Voice coach and Choir leader:

Jo has studied voice at Lismore Conservatorium. Within the first few months of moving to Boonah, Jo established the Boonah Community Choir and for the next 4 years she led the choir, with several performances each year and 25 members at its peak. She found this to be a powerful experience of ‘bridging’, where people from many walks of life joined together with the common goal of singing in harmony.

Performer and educator:

Jo has developed a performance character called ‘Madam Mulch’, who has made multiple appearances at schools, markets and festivals. With Scenic Rim council funding and the support of Boonah Organisation for a Sustainable Shire (BOSS), Jo presented waste minimisation education at 26 of the primary schools in The Scenic Rim.

Workshop facilitator:

Jo has received RADF grants to run community workshops in singing performance, felt making, and co-facilitate “Junk Orchestra” workshops.

Rob and Jo have run countless community workshops making “junk” instruments and funky junky music using materials that were otherwise destined for disposal.

At the 10 annual Arts In The Olives Festivals, Jo was a regular presenter, initially offering workshops in mosaics and then in felt making.

In her former employment as a facilitator of group activities, Jo offered experiences in a variety of mediums, including felt making, paper-lantern making, and musical instrument making with junk at The Outlook with young people and people with disabilities, and also with the elderly residents and the staff from Fassifern Retirement Village.

Current activities:

Jo is a fibre artist, primarily focused on the use of wool and silk in felt making, as well as exploring the use of dried plant materials, natural dyes and inks.

With her talented musician husband, Rob Davies, Jo regularly sings and performs in their musical duo at festivals, markets and private functions.

Along with her passion for making and performing, Jo has been teaching yoga classes -as a continuous thread throughout the last two decades of working with her local community. Jo sees yoga as the glue that holds together a life of creativity and eclectic interests.

Valkyrie Blacksmith

Valkyrie has held creative, administrative and management roles in the Arts sector for over 25 years. Primarily delivering event, venue management and community cultural development for local government.

Prior to and alongside, Valkyrie is a licensed pyrotechnician who specialises in large scale fire installations, for over  20 years with Woodford Folk Festival, Dark Mofo and other special  events across the country.

Valkyrie is an advocate for regional community arts and has been a founding member for local arts organisations, owned an art gallery representing 45 regional artists and been the Art Director for companies providing artistic services, production and entertainment solutions.



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