Max Watters Bronze Depicts the Heart of Art
BY JEM ANSHAW
With the families blessing, a tribute to the late Max Watters has been unveiled in the heart of Muswellbrook.
His sister, Marie, is as humble as her late brother, sharing only that the statue is truly lovely and they are glad to see Max remembered so fondly by the community he called home.
At the unveiling of the statue outside the Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre last week, director Elissa Emerson shared some of the ways the community, and the Art Centre, knew Max.
“We knew Max for his painting. We knew that every second year there would be an exhibition at the Watters Gallery Sydney, with a preview of the works at the Arts Centre beforehand,” she said.
“We knew Max for his art groups, for sharing his passion for art and encouraging others in their art making – Mondays at Wybong Hall, Tuesdays at the PCYC, Thursdays at Strathearn Aged Care and the Pothouse.
“That Max called them art groups and not classes is indicative of his modesty, casting himself as a member rather than a leader and mentor. Max was without pretention.”
Max had a unique style of painting and his work is easily recognisable, he also had a great eye for art and his expansive personal collection was always shared with the community through exhibitions curated at the Art Centre.
When speaking, Muswellbrook Shire mayor Rod Scholes said beautiful is the only way to describe Linda Klarfeld’s bronze statue that now takes pride of place outside the Art Centre on Bridge Street.
“Max is someone who certainly deserved a tribute, an asset and a legend in our town,” he told The Hunter River Times.
“We have quite an exceptional gallery, a gallery a town the size of Muswellbrook just doesn’t have and the basis behind that was Max donated all his collection, not just his work he was a collector of art as well, to the Shire.”
Cr Scholes also acknowledged the classes Max ran in the community, sharing much of his time selflessly to increase art appreciation across the region.
Max passed away on February 1, 2020 at 83 but his legacy will live on in our region through the community members he has worked with and the art he has created.