In recent years Hale School’s art-loving community has become accustomed to shivering in the rain and wind, gathering around the outdoor heaters at the doors of Memorial Hall, waiting to be among the first to see the artworks on display at the Opening Night of Fine Art @ Hale.

But this year the evening was clear and warm, matching the smiles on the faces of the happy people who gathered at Memorial Hall on Friday August 2 to see the annual Fine Art @ Hale exhibition officially opened by artist, Ben Juniper. A beautiful evening of socialising and merriment followed, as patrons enjoyed a fine selection of drinks and canapés, while enjoying the first look and opportunity to purchase the artworks on display.

The exhibition takes several days to set up and placement of each work is carefully considered by the curatorial team, resulting in an exhibition that aims to display all work to its best advantage.  With artwork ranging from delicate jewellery pieces, translucent small ceramics and fine glassware to big paintings, photographs and large-scale sculptures made of re-purposed machinery parts, there was something for everyone. Guest speaker Ben Juniper summed it up beautifully when he described the achievement of hanging such an incredible array of artwork, yet still making it “Easy to look at!” – no mean feat!

Opening guest speaker, artist, Ben Juniper

Although many patrons came along looking to find a connection with something special and possibly take it home with them, the exhibition is not all about looking to buy. One of the main aims of Fine Art @ Hale is to give members of the Hale School and wider community the opportunity to experience the work of fine Western Australian artists, in an exhibition right on their doorstep. Most visitors over the weekend were simply there to observe, appreciate and discuss the wide and incredible array of work on display at Memorial Hall.

One of the most popular activities at Fine Art @ Hale is the People’s Choice Award, and many patrons took the time to carefully examine the artworks and cast their vote. Members of the Fine Art @ Hale committee were enthralled by the intense consideration given to making the right choice by attendees of all ages – the youngest of whom was a three-year-old who knew exactly what was his favourite. 

Taking the voting seriously!

The People’s Choice Award ($500) was eventually won by City Beach artist Alix Korte for Terns at Leighton Beach. The prize for Best Emerging Artist ($1000) went to Andy Kent for Summer (pictured below), a small but vivid oil painting evoking the light and heat of a summer’s day in the suburbs, and Hale School art teacher Christopher McClelland won the Best Artwork Award ($4000) for his stunning oil on canvas Autumn Leaves Over the Ocean.

2019 FA@H Emerging Artist Award
Summer, 2019 by Andy Kent

Hale boys were involved both as visitors to the exhibition in the lead up to Opening Night, and at the other end of the spectrum, volunteering to help set up the exhibition and working over the weekend – both on the door, and in the FA@H Café. Engaged as part of Hale School’s comprehensive Service Learning program, the boys were helpful and charming, with many attendees saying how pleased they were to see students getting involved with the exhibition.

Fine Art @ Hale by Numbers!

While most of our artists have left the notion of Painting by Numbers back in their childhood, we thought it would be fun to take a glance at this year’s exhibition through the lens of a few figures…

0 artworks broken (phew…)

3 exhibiting Hale Staff

4 judges determining the winners of the FA@H Artist Awards

6 exhibiting Hale Old Boys

13 FA@H committee members (lucky for us!)

15 hours the exhibition is open to the public

18 Hale School Service Learning students assisting with set up and delivery of the exhibition

47 artists attended Opening Night

62 Hale parent volunteers

104 exhibiting artists

163 artworks sold

360 attended Opening Night

413 works of art on display

More than 600 votes in the People’s Choice Award

More than 2500 attendees to the exhibition (including over 1000 Hale students in the days before the official opening)

24000 dollars – the most expensive work on offer

The efforts of the Hale School staff and dedicated parent volunteers from the Hale School community are crucial to the staging of the exhibition. As usual, the Hale School community embraced the opportunity to volunteer and help bring the exhibition to life this year, and we welcomed many more as guests to the Opening Night, or over the weekend with their families. 

Thanks once again to our exhibiting artists, and to all who helped create such a successful community event. If you haven’t already, check out our website at to find out more, and we hope to see you all again next year for the 2020 Fine Art @ Hale Exhibition!