WITH no end in sight to the drought, it's been a rough few years for cockies - a theme likely to resonate at Sculptures in the Garden in Mudgee on October 12-13.
This year will see several new artists display their work and organisers say it's London to a brick that many will focus on the troubles of farmers and the strength with which they face them.
More than 100 artists will exhibit 250 pieces of work, with the total value of the prizes and acquisitions now totalling over $40,000.
The full line-up of artists will be announced on October 11.
Sculptures in the Garden is arguably the largest and best known regional sculpture exhibition in NSW, with more 3500 people visiting last year.
Artists included Hui Selwood, who took out the major $25,000 Sculptures in the Garden and Mid-Western Regional Council prize with his work Pentad, Matt Hill, who won the $10,000 Friends of Sculptures in the Garden prize for Jack Thompson (Cleo Centrefold circa 1973) and Richard Nagel, who was awarded the $5000 Moolarben prize for Flame Within.
The event takes place at Rosby Vineyard, where visitors will also have an opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork.
Winners will receive a $500 People's Choice Award. There is also a $300 Sculptors Society Sensory Sculpture prize and a SIG for Kids exhibition that involves local schools and budding young artists.
Author and photographer Annabelle Hickson will host the honours on the Sunday, with sculptor Stephen King opening the event.
King, a sheep and cattle farmer, is known for his oversized carved and constructed wooden sculptures and takes influence from farm life and issues around the environment and humanity.
He has won an array of prizes including Sculpture by the Sea's major prize in 2013.
Proceeds from the exhibition are used to buy public art for the Mudgee Sculpture Walk in a joint venture with Mid-Western Regional Council.
Revenue collected at the gate and from catering goes to the Mudgee support group of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.