SHOTS have already been fired between sports fanatics and lovers of art, with six industry pros gearing up to battle it out on June 3.
In the Friends of Orange Regional Gallery's third event, 'The Great Debate' is quickly gaining traction for a cracker gig of verbal wrangling, where three people - from either the arts or sports crew - will argue an age-old question: Does sport evoke greater emotion than the arts?
It's set to include some fairly savage and stern points of persuasive argument, too, with consideration to the six panelists' professional backgrounds - who have all been dubbed "an incredibly savvy lineup of people" on either side.
"Toby [Tancred] and Charlie Henley, I mean, these guys are solicitors and have worked in law their entire lives, composing words to win cases - it's quite the advantage," artist and FORG's publicity officer, Sarah Randall said.
"And on the other side, you've got someone like Helen Pitt who writes for the Sydney Morning Herald for a living - so, that will also be a fairly persuasive person to go up against."
Going head-to-head with the creative crew, the sports side is made up of local solicitor and sports personality, Toby Tancred, Australian Olympic medalist in high-stakes swimming, Anna Windsor and Orange litigator from the Blackwell Short law firm, Charlie Henley - who is also the first grade skipper with the Orange Emus Rugby Union Club.
"Sport, as I see it, is the great leveller between people - fans of teams are from all walks of life, but come together to support a common goal [in backing] their team," Mr Henley said.
"I've always loved the sense of community and comradery that sport provides. Being part of a team - and winning and losing together - brings people together."
Backing an opposite sector for the win, the arts panelist to battle against these points includes the award-winning Aussie figurative artist, Steve Lopes, book author and long-term journalist with the Sydney Moring Herald, Helen Pitt and "phenomenal" musician with the Orange Regional Conservatorium, David Shaw.
"Without giving too much away of the strategies of the debate, I think this is most easily summarised when considering how many moments or memories in our lives have been connected to the arts - memories hold such a wide range of emotions, including when we felt gloriously happy, or terribly sad," Mr Shaw said.
"Music [also] connects to political events, poignant moments, powerful feelings, moments of extroversion, introspection or even melancholy ... music also connects us to sport."
Having left triumphant from the last debate, the creative mob are gunning for another victory.
The arts has such a large emotional bank to draw upon and represent, that I think we will indeed come away with the win.- Orange Regional Conservatorium's flute and piano teacher, David Shaw
In the same vein, however, the sports devotees were left feeling hungry last time - pouring more fuel on the desire to win.
"Sports are perhaps the most emotional hobby that you can be involved in - every result, every play creates and emotive response. Win, lose or draw, the range of emotions are so vast," Mr Henley said.
"The community of Orange is sport mad and the support for the affirmative will be clear from the get go - sports will win the debate."
On the contrary, it's not shaping up to rattle the gang of artists too much - who aren't backing down, either.
"Victory here will come from the team that can evoke the greatest emotional response from the audience and the judge," Mr Shaw said.
"The arts has such a large emotional bank to draw upon and represent, that I think we will indeed come away with the win."
FORG's Ms Randall says the panel will be literally divided by the evening's emcee, with Dr Andrew Frost - critic, documentary-maker, lecturer and writer - seated amidst the rivalling teams, set to judge the winning side based primarily on responses from crowd-goers.
"And there'll also be wine, champagne and beautifully-catered finger food while you get to see some of the best people in their professions thrash it out with those of the total opposite professions also arguing their points," Ms Randall said.
The community of Orange is sport mad and the support for the affirmative will be clear from the get go - sports will win the debate.- Emu's first-grade rugby captain, Charlie Henley
"They're going to be savage in their arguments and it's going to be extremely entertaining to watch - and with the arts winning the last one, it's another good bit of burning competition for the sports team."
The Friday, June 3 event will be held at the Orange Regional Gallery in its newest extension, the theatre space.
Tickets are costed at $45 per person, which are available online through the eventbrite website.
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