The Bettija’rt | art exhibition organised by the Delicata winery is now open to the public until April 24 at Is-Suq Tal-Belt, Valletta Food Market in Valletta, each day from 8am till late.

Ten artists are collectively exhibiting their so-called ‘bettija’rt’, which is an artworkmade from a decommissioned wine barrel or bettija in Maltese. Each finished piece reflects “the joys of wine, art and good living in Malta today and through the ages”.

Some of the works explore unconventional techniques such as multi-patterned paintings with shape and line being driving forces. For the majority of artists, the use of colour is important and often explosive. In some cases, however, colour has been stripped away, leaving the barrel bare but covered with ingenuity and hard graft.

Following a successful call of interest for artists by Delicata, 10 artists were selected to take part in the winery’s innovative barrel art exhibition and contest organised in association with Is-Suq Tal-Belt, Valletta Food Market.

This year’s exhibiting and contending artist-finalists are surrealist Joseph Barbara, talented painter and model Claire Attard Vella, multimedia artist David Xuereb, globetrotting artist Caroline Said Lawrence, expressionist Carmel Bonello, palette-knife virtuoso Francis Galea, up-and-coming artist Priscilla Gatt, ceramist and painter Donald Camilleri, multi-talented artist Sara Pace and creative illustrator Zack Ritchie.

Admission is free and the public is encouraged to visit, view and vote online for their favourite work of art at The recipient of the 2019 Bettija’rt grand prize and the runner-up, winning cash prizes and gifts, shall be determined by a final jury panel decision. The members of the jury are Anna Grima, Kevin Casha, Mariella Pisani Bencini, and me for the organising Delicata winery.

I had the pleasure of addressing the guests at the vernissage and praised the submitted artworks. In my long career as a wine professional, I have seen many barrels and wine vats of all kinds but none as enthralling as these unique pieces. The judges will be hard-pressed to make a pecking order, but I’m confident in their expertise and wish all 10 artists the best of luck.

The results of the Bettija’rt | contest will be announced on April 25. More information can be obtained at

Georges Meekers is Delicata’s head of sales and an award-winning wine writer.

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