Ophir was the first place gold was discovered in New South Wales.
Over 150 years later, the area is still worth its weight in gold for legendary painter Ted Lewis, who will be launching his first exhibition in Orange in six years this Thursday night at the Peisely Street Gallery.
Lewis has had exhibitions in Canberra and Sydney in recent years, but his return back home will feature 55 works will be hanging in the gallery, and all have been either painted or finished in the past 12 months.
I don't need a photo to finish what's there, it's all in your head.Ted Lewis
"People come up to me and say 'are you still painting?' and I thought I needed to have another show here to show off recent works," he said.
Nearly all the works are from the Central West, with two Cook Park paintings in the exhibition as well as plenty from around his home in Ophir.
Lewis - who has been painting for well over 40 years - said he'll often find somewhere to paint and just stop, set up canvas and paints and spend a few hours capturing the landscape before finishing in his studio.
"If I find a spot with a few subjects I'll sit and paint - I don't finish but I get as much done as I need to to understand it, and then I can start another one," he said.
"I don't need a photo to finish what's there, it's all in your head."
Peisley Street Gallery's Leiarna Dunworth said she was excited to have Lewis' work back on exhibition in Orange.
"We asked and he agreed and we were like 'oh my god'… I cannot describe the feeling of when it's on the wall and it all works," she said.
The exhibition's official opening is on Thursday night from 6pm to 8pm at 54 Peisley Street, but is open from now until March 24.
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