Joan Vagg is an accomplished artist in oil, watercolour, pen and ink, pastel and mixed media.
She has judged many regional exhibitions and conducted adult art classes and workshops for various art groups for many years.
1982 Chosen for display in 'pride of place' in the non-competitive Year of the Tree Exhibition, Commonwealth Bank Building, Martin Place, Sydney: Large oil, "The Faerie Tree.'
Won Sunrasia Outdoor Exhibition, Mildura: large oil, "From a Garden Shed."
1983 Second prize for oils, Age Gallery, Melbourne: large oil, "Ben was Here."
1984 Commissioned for two oil paintings for Objet d'Art display held in conjunction with Ausipex International Stamp Exhibition, Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
Won Riverina Diocesan Centenary Prize for religious art: large oil, "Let there be Light."
1985 Won Eckersley Gold Medal Award, Bendigo: large oil, "Cottage Corner."
1988 Successfully obtained a Bicentennial grant on behalf of the Carrathool Shire for the production of a large triptych depicting the history of the development in the district, and directed the project to completion.
1989 Awarded Carrathool Shire Australia Day Award for achievement in the field of arts.
1997 Painted and presented to Carrathool Shire Council a large triptych, "Kidman Country," on display at the Council Office, Hillston.
2006 Designed and helped to complete a large mural for the Merriwagga Hall on behalf of the Hillston Creative Arts Council.
Catherine Joan Parker was born in Parkes, NSW, in 1929, the eldest child of William (Bill) and Gwyneth (nee Bryant).
When Joan was an infant the family moved to 'Long Plain," a grazing and dry area cropping farm, on red soil mallee plains, thirteen miles east of Hillston.
Joan married Albert Vagg in 1951 and the young couple built their home on the western plains, on the site of Bert's ancestors, on land granted by the Western Lands Commission in 1875, forty-eight miles west of Hillston. Joan balanced managing the house, delivering Correspondence School lessons to their four children, and assisting with work on the grazing property.
In 1969 Joan and Bert added "Tallawanta," a grazing and irrigation property on the Lachlan River, to their landholdings and moved there. "Tallawanta" is twenty-one miles from Hillston, and Joan exchanged teaching Correspondence lessons for a fifteen-mile drive - sixty miles a day - to the nearest bus stop for the children to attend primary school in Hillston.
Once this daily commitment was over and the children had transferred to boarding school, "Tallawanta" became for many years home to grandchildren and at different times, Joan's and Bert's widowed mothers. It was at this that time Joan studied for six years with the McNeill Academy of Realist Art.
It is from these three homes that Joan spent a lifetime exploring the lakes, the hills, the river, the scrublands and the plains becoming intimately familiar with their flora and fauna and the vagaries of their seasons.