Surfboard art a first for Tony

LOCAL indigenous artist Tony Hart is about to break into the international market, after being asked by surf legend Bill Hamilton to exhibit his art at an exhibition in New York.

Legendary surfing icon, Bill Hamilton, is hosting the first annual Inlet Seafood Restaurant and Gallery Surfboard and Art Exhibition at Montauk, New York - a high-end coastal city on the very tip of the state of New York.

And he has asked Coffs Harbour artist Mr Hart to paint a surfboard for the exhibition.

"I'm bringing in two Australian artists, and I really wanted an indigenous piece," Mr Hamilton said.

"We're going to be taking Tony - someone who is known locally - to another part of the world to display in an art collection that will be viewed by some of the wealthiest people in America."

Mr Hart is amazed to be part of it all.

"I can't believe it - I feel like I'm floating," he said.

The piece is a tribute to Mr Hart's indigenous heritage and upbringing, and depicts a story he was told by his grandfather in his youth.

"The elders used to sing out to the dolphins, and they would round the fish up and bring them in," Mr Hart said.

"I started painting after I stopped playing football, and just kind of found this hidden talent. I went to a course out at Wongala, and since then, it's like I've picked up a bug."

The piece will be shown in the exclusive exhibition, along with a number of boards shaped by Mr Hamilton himself, in the US from August 14 to 16.

Mr Hart is seeking sponsors to help him make the trip to New York.

If you can help, phone Kamla on 0409 536 670.


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