A man for all seasons

Yass artist and community identity Kim Nelson was overwhelmed on Saturday when he was announced as the Yass Valley Citizen of the Year.

He accepted the award at the annual Australia Day breakfast in Coronation Park.

Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey said the artist had enriched the cultural identity of the region.

She said he “helped local artists and musicians to gain or develop a sense of belonging to the Yass Valley.

“Kim has worked on many projects, always with the good of the community in mind. He has done so for no financial gain, and with extraordinary commitment.”

Mr Nelson’s passion for Yass is obvious in the enthusiasm he throws behind organising Classic Yass, the town’s biggest event.

In particular during Classic Yass in 2012, the artist hosted a storyteller event at his studio at Oddfellows Hall in Yass’ main street.

He was recognised for making the gallery available to musicians, writers, poets, dancers and local indigenous artists for concerts and workshops.

Mr Nelson’s contribution to the YassArts movement and website was another reason he has taken out the citizen of the year title.

“The YassArts website profiles local artists, writers, film makers, sculptors and musicians. The website is a great source of information about cultural events in Yass Valley.”

The artist moved from Sydney to Yass in the 80s to become the inaugural manager of Cooma Cottage after the National Trust took it on.

After 11 years working at the cottage, he left Yass to distance himself from the tag ‘Mr Cooma Cottage’, but the town proved too close to his heart. He was back just a year later.

The artist’s contribution to culture in the Yass Valley made him a popular choice as citizen of the year.

The Tribune has previously profiled Kim Nelson as part of our Friday Profile series. Click here for the story.

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