Warrnambool & District's annual Easter Arts Festival is back bigger than ever with 27 events across 16 venues during March and April.
The 'Good Shepherd' sculpting workshop is already under way at the St Joseph's Church garage held each Saturday until April 9 by Merran Koran.
Arts Festival director John Stephen said the Easter time regular was always a popular event.
"They're sculpting sheep out with hammer and chisels from limestone blocks," he said.
"It's been held every year, but this year they decided to make it part of the festival. It's based on the 23rd Psalm and all the sheep are going to be displayed on the lawn at the St Joseph's yard."
Mr Stephen said the festival started in 2005 before it went into a brief recess, eventually being revived in 2018. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but returned in the past year.
Mr Stephen said this year was the biggest yet.
"It's getting bigger every year," he said.
"It's been the biggest one so far and the first time we're going to have a concert at the Lighthouse Theatre which is exciting. It's a brass band from the Salvation Army in Melbourne who are world class - they've played in the UK and in Europe.
"We've got another lady coming from Bendigo, Alana Conway, who is a harpist and soloist who is very, very good as well.
"The Lutheran Church has a textile banner, there's a cooking display down at the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Baptist Church is a new venue this year with three events including a puppeteer from Melbourne coming up and they're also doing a craft day for kids and we've got an all abilities dance program there.
"They're all new events and they approached us to be part of the festival."
Mr Stephen said the committee was thrilled the event had kicked off after lots of hard work.
"There's been a lot of work, we've got a committee of about 10 people from various churches and that," he said.
"We're very excited - it seems to be getting into momentum, people are approaching us to be involved. We've already increased our publicity this year and we've printed 3000 programs to be distributed. There are also posters around town and things like that.
"This year we also have the Warrnambool & District Artists' Society competition and we've increased our prize money this year to $3800. First prize is $2000 and the theme is the 23rd Psalm.
"There are also eight categories to win worth $200 each and also an Indigenous arts category. That's all going to be on display at the Merri View Gallery in Warrnambool from March 26."
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