Playful artist grabs every opportunity

The current Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF) round closes April 15. Former recipient Odessa Mahoney-de Vries shares her story.

Odessa in her Nambour studio

Above a Chinese takeaway in Nambour, lies the studio of Odessa Mahony-de Vries, a classically trained visual artist who prefers to tread a more playful and experimental artistic path.

That path is paved with the acclaims that come with hard work and dedication and the smarts to grab every opportunity with both hands.

Odessa was recognised as a ‘40 under 40’ artist. Her finalist work ‘Push’, a Terracotta clay and glaze sculpture, features in the Local Contemporary Art Prize exhibition on now at Caloundra Regional Gallery and received notable acclaim from the guest judge.

Finalist artwork, PUSH, by Odessa

Her solo show ‘North of the Silver Phoenix’ is on at Umbrella Studio Contemporary arts in Townsville until April 28 and on the horizon, another solo show ‘Spilling Over’ is coming up at Rubicon ARI, Melbourne; a group show at Side Gallery Brisbane and a solo show at Art Post Gympie.  

Odessa’s success is supported by initiatives such as The Refinery creative incubator, where she formed part of the 4.0 cohort.

But she describes her career highlight as a solo show at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts centre, made possible through Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF) in 2020.

“The show featured a 20m long canvas hung from the ceiling,” Mahoney-de Vries said.

“I created this and other works during an artist residency at The Old Lock Up in Maroochydore, where I was locked in a jail cell for eight hours with just eight materials.”

Odessa, @odessa_devries will appeal to a variety of people who are likely to feel the energy and body movements involved in making it.

RADF Funding round closes April 15

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. 

RADF Grants are aimed at the development of emerging and established artists, creative practitioners and producers.  

Applicants must reside or be based in the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area or, if based outside the local government area, demonstrate how the project will directly benefit residents in the Sunshine Coast. 

  • RADF Grant applications can be submitted in one of four categories:   
  • Concept Development Funding — Up to $5000 
  • Project Funding — Up to $10,000 
  • Individual Development Funding — Up to $750 for national travel and up to $1500 for international travel 
  • Mentorship Funding — Up to $5000 


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