A former Tamworth rugby league coach has switched his focus to a different talent. Tony La Chiusa experienced great success when his art was exhibited recently, and it’s led to the studio doors being opened again today.
AUGUST 12 2018 -Mark Bode -Community
Tony La Chiusa is among that rare breed who move seamlessly between both hemispheres of the brain – a logical thinker capable of running a successful plastering business and becoming a highly distinguished country sports coach, while at the same time satisfying his strong artistic urges.
It is the latter that he has increasingly focused on. At age 55, he is still involved in the plastering business but has entrusted its operations to his son, North Tamworth Bears winger Colby, while he oversaw the last of his seven first-grade premierships at West Lions in 2013.
OCTOBER 25 2018 -
Golf day proves a huge fundraising success Golf day proves a huge fundraising success
A day on the green has helped to raise thousands of dollars for farmers who are suffering in the drought.
Participants teed off on Monday, and raised a massive $32,000, with 100 per cent of the funds divided between 19 farming families.
“One of the most memorable moments of the (day) was when we passed around a hat to all the players, including members and sponsors, collecting a staggering $2500 from a beautiful painting “Desire” donated by Tamworth local Tony LaChiusa for the not-won hole in one competition, with all the money raised and the painting going to Kelly and Linlcon Brown and their three children, who are cattle farmers from Barraba,” Ms Meares said.
NOVEMBER 14 2018 - 10AM
Iconic paintings on sale for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service
Tony La Chiusa likes to paint icons.
We’re talking Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Tupac Shakur, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, Clint Eastwood – even Al Capone.
He’s also painted the pop star Pink, who has her own kind of iconic qualities.
Tony has two versions of the singer – Soft Pink and Hot Pink. Clever that.
About 15 of Tony’s large paintings will be on sale or auctioned on Thursday at Bar Petite in Newcastle’s East End.
“My work is mainly for big walls, where they have an impact,” Tony said.
“The eyes are probably about the size of my hand. That’s an indication of how big they are.”
The works are priced from $1000 to $3500. A quarter of the proceeds will be donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Mike Rabbitt is hosting.
Tony says he paints icons because “people love them”.
“These types of paintings are probably the most popular types of paintings in the world. They appeal to all age groups,” he said.
He likes ‘em, too.
“I’ve always been a big fan of the older icons like Audrey Hepburn. She’s one of the true icons. She’s quite lovely to paint.
“I did a few Pinks because she was touring Australia at the time. Everyone kept saying ‘why don’t you do a Pink’.”
Tony, of Tamworth, isn’t a typical artist. He ran a plastering business for 30 years and was a top water polo and rugby league player. He coached the West Tamworth Lions first grade rugby league team for 18 years, winning eight premierships.
Rugby League journalist Barry Toohey, who now writes for the Newcastle Herald, once described Tony as the “Wayne Bennett of the bush”.
Tony retired from footy coaching in 2013, giving him a lot more time to paint.
“People get surprised when they see I do paintings. They go ‘what’s an old front rower doing painting?’ But it’s something I’ve done all my life and always enjoyed.”