The Manjimup Art Gallery has welcomed a new exhibition for the next month, after opening on Friday night, with awards being handed out to a lucky few. A new exhibition, titled Fantastic Fungi, opened on Friday night at the Manjimup Art Gallery, displaying 35 printed photos of different fungi species captured by more than 20 photographers for the public to view. The Fantastic Fungi exhibition is a part of a competition, first started in 2018, which initially had entries be printed and mounted images entered by the contestants, In 2020, an exhibition called Nature that Nurtures was held as an alternative, due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and involved submitting a physical image to be displayed at the Manjimup Art Gallery. The Manjimup Photo Club held a competition in 2021 using a digital format as means for entry to minimise personal contact, due to COVID 19 restrictions, with the photographs being judged in two rounds. Initially the images were judged digitally, where 35 of the best images were selected, then again physically after the selected 35 images were printed and framed at the club’s expense, while the second judging takes place in the Manjimup Art Gallery where they are subsequently exhibited for five weeks. All the entries not framed and hung can be viewed on a digital rolling display in the gallery. This year 24 entrants submitted 132 images including the 35 framed and hung pictures, up from 93 images submitted in 2021, with three classes: open age; primary school and high school. The prize money is generously donated by Alan Blakers of Manjimup Truffles. In the open photo class, Natacha Issler took the top prize of $300 cash with her photo of a Pisolithus, named “The Dragon’s Eye”. Carole Paterson was named the runner up, and Jenni Stock, Wendy Gibb and Lyn Neal took third, fourth and fifth places. Xavier Kolan was awarded first place in the High School photo class for “Forest Fungi Clump”, taking home $50, while Harrison Barry was awarded second and third place for two of his works. The Photo Club noted that the exhibition was a “resounding success” and included the sale of 11 pictures, and a grant from Talison Lithium helped with paying for the hire of the Manjimup Art Gallery, image printing and advertising. The exhibition will be available for viewing from August 4 to September 8.