Bluethumb Art Prize 2020: Finalists Just Announced

We’ve spent the last 10 days looking carefully at just over 2,500 Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 entries. To put this into perspective, that’s more than double the number of entries for this year’s record breaking Archibald Prize and beat our previous record of 2,346 set in 2018. The standard is so high it was an almost impossible task and we couldn’t be prouder of our artist community. You’re all winners in our eyes!

Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 judge Blak Douglas

Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 judge Blak Douglas, the first Indigenous artist to win the Kilgour Prize in 2019.

But alas, after much heated debate (this is a polite way of putting it), our selection panel has whittled down the shortlist to 180 finalists ready to give to our expert artist-led judging panel, including national treasure Ken Done and Kilgour Prize winner Blak Douglas.

Vote for Your Favourites to Win

Voting is now open for our People’s Choice Award. Click here to see all 180 finalists and vote for your five favourite artworks. Not only will you help the artists get one vote closer to winning our People’s Choice Award, you’ll also go in the running to win one of your favourite artworks valued up to $2,000.

Always Was, Always Will Be

As we’re releasing our shortlist during NAIDOC Week – an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the oldest continuing cultures on the planet – we thought we’d highlight a few of the incredible First Nations artists who make up 19% of our 180 finalists.


A Man Who Needs No Introduction: Jimmy Donegan

Jimmy Donegan - Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 finalist

Jimmy Donegan’s Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 finalist artwork, Pukara Rock Hole.

Jimmy Donegan’s family links throughout the Pitjantjarra lands give him a strong tie to country. This ancestral narrative is the backbone of his art. Jimmy grew up as a bush baby in country around Blackstone and Mantamaru and has continuously lived between Kulka and Blackstone ever since. His work is notably rich in colour and highly symbolic through dot work and line. In 2010, Jimmy won the 27th Telstra Award (The National Indigenous Art Award). Since then he won the Runner-Up Award in our inaugural Bluethumb Art Prize and his work has become highly collectable, gracing the walls of many of Australia’s most famous galleries and museums.

Visit Jimmy’s profile here, or click here to discover more collectable artists on Bluethumb.

This Year’s Wynne Prize Winner: Hubert Pareroultja

Hubert Pareroultja’s Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 finalist artwork, Mt Giles, MacDonnell Ranges; a unique circular composition.

Hubert Pareroultja has been painting watercolours since he was a young boy, having watched the original Hermannsburg School watercolour artist Albert Namatjira and his father and uncles as they painted. He paints many of the same locations that Namatjira and the Pareroultja brothers painted, in particular Hermannsburg, Mt Sonder and James Range. Hubert lives and works in the Western MacDonnell Ranges to this day.

Alongside this year’s Archibald and Sulman Prize winners Vincent Namatjira and Marikit Santiago, Hubert, of lltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre, was announced the winner of the 2020 Wynne Prize. One of Australia’s longest-running art prizes, the Wynne is awarded annually to the best Australian landscape painting or figure sculpture.

Visit Hubert’s profile here, or click here to discover more collectable artists on Bluethumb.

A New Family Discovery: T’keyah Ware & Kelilah Taylor-Ware

Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 Finalist T’keyah Ware

T’keyah Ware with her mother and mentor Kelly Taylor in front of her Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 finalist artwork, Great Grandmother’s Country.

One of the best things about the Bluethumb Art Prize is the artists it unearths. New to Bluethumb, along with their mother Kelly Taylor, are sisters T’keyah Ware and Kelilah Taylor-Ware, who both made the finalists shortlist. In a recent interview with Vogue (how cool is that!), T’keyah explained how her mother Kelly is her mentor. “She supports me 100 per cent. She teaches me lots of things like different symbols, why it’s important to be patient, which helps me produce beautiful paintings; she pushes me to be better each and every day which I am very grateful for!”

Visit T’keyah’s profile here, or Kelilah’s profile here.

The Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 awards ceremony will be hosted online on the 26th November. More details coming soon.

Bluethumb Art Prize 2020: A Focus on Our Finalists


  1. Lance Ross says:

    I am stunned, amazed and shocked that you include photographs in an art competition. Photography is photography and there can be art in photography. But to include it in the same competition as paintings, drawings and the like is like comparing apples with oranges. Dumb as dumb can be.

  2. Glenda Pitt says:

    My gosh the bar keeps raising at Bluethumb. Very inspiring thanks.

  3. […] Kelilah’s Abstract Award-winning piece, Family Day Out depicts the setting of being on country, spending the day out collecting bush foods such as witchetty grubs, honey ants and quandongs with family.  […]

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