October’s Best Art Prize Exhibitions

If you’re looking for an art fix this weekend, bluethumb isn’t the only one with an exciting art prize shortlist of late – whether you’re an artist, a spectator or both, in the last few months the art scene has seen more judgement than To Kill a Mockingbird.

We thought you wouldn’t want to miss a thing, so we’ve searched high and low to bring you the cream of the crop – that is, the kind of crop that feeds the soul with art (because really, that’s the most important kind, isn’t it?). Watch this space for even more award news coming soon.

Black Swan Prize for Portraiture

3-21 October. Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre Roe St, WA.

Presented by not-for-profit organisation ARTrinsic Inc, the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture was established in 2007 to provide artists with an avenue to exhibit portraiture within Western Australia. Now in its tenth year, the prize claims the title of third richest portrait prize in Australia and continues to grow, thanks to the support of its sponsors. It has a category for both adult and youth artists and has also provided platforms for other important exhibitions and events, such as the Heritage Prize for depictions of Perth from 2012 to 2014, a community art program and ‘Salon’, an exhibition displaying an alternative selection of artworks other than the award shortlist. In twist that brings together two traditionally separate worlds, the works will be on tour around several hospitals in WA throughout November. See website for details. 

Waldemar Kolbusz by Rachel CoadRachel Coad’s work Waldemar Kolbusz, winner of Lester Group prize under the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture. Source: Black Swan Prize

Heysen Prize for Landscape

8 October – 4 December. Hahndorf Academy, 68 Main St, Hahndorf, SA.

Initiated in 1997, the Heysen Prize for Landscape commemorates artist Hans Heysen (1877-1968), famous for his paintings and drawings of the local area with which he is said to have had a deep connection. Accordingly, the Heysen Prize encourages artists to not only paint what they see around them, but to go further and express their connection to, or concern for the Australian landscape and environment, whether it be urban, rural or national. This year, the winner of the prize was Sera Waters, with her work Fritz and the Rose Garden

Fritz and the Rose Garden by Sera WatersSera Water’s winning work, Fritz and the Rose Garden. Source: Sera Waters

Incinerator Art Prize

14 October – 3 December. Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Rd, Mooney Ponds, VIC.

The Incinerator Art Prize, presented by the City of Moonee Valley, is inspired by the legacy of architect Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937) and his wife Marion Mahony (1871-1961); both were passionate advocates for ideals of equality, democracy and environmental preservation, and as such the award has a strong focus on social and environmental activism. This year there was even a separate prize accorded for the strongest response to the them of ‘art for social change’, taken out by Claire Tracey for her work Legacy, made from recycled plastics. 36 artists were shortlisted, and the overall winner of the Incinerator Award was Ash Keating.

056_zanny_begg_1001nights1Shot from Zanny Begg’s winning work, 1001 Nights in Fairfield. Source: City of Mooney Valley

Paddington Art Prize

20th – 30th October, 111-113 Queen Street, Woollahra NSW 2025.

The Paddington Art Prize for landscape paintings was founded thirteen years ago by founder and principal sponsor Marlene Antico, in order to give underrepresented artists a better chance. Since then, it seems like the prize has gone from strength to strength: “It’s amazing,” says marketing consultant Susie Sierra, “[the artists] will win the Paddington Art Prize, the next year you’ll often see them in several other prizes. It’s definitely a boost to artists careers”. She also talks about the accessibility of the prize, saying that “it’s really open to everybody – everybody’s got a chance to win the prize and to be hung as a finalist”. This year, a new category for young artists has been brought in, opening the door even wider for artists from all walks of life.

Pink Dawn at Weabonga by Ross LaurieWinning entry from last year’s Paddington Art Prize, Pink Dawn at Weabonga by Ross Laurie. Who will it be this time? Source: Paddington Art Prize

The World Illustration Awards

Enjoy online now!

For those who’d like to enjoy an exhibition from the comfort of their couch, check out the World Illustration Awards shortlist. Julieus Wiedemann, editor of TASCHEN publishing, hits the nail on the head when he says that “illustration is instinctively associated with imagination.” It’s no surprise, then, that South Korean winner Jungho Lee was chosen by the judges “not just because of his outstanding technique, but great imagination.” Although we Australians were sadly unable to visit the exhibition in the flesh (unless, who knows, maybe your love of all things illustrated had you jumping on a plane to the UK?), we at least had some Aussie entries, and even a winner in the Advertising Professional category. This is especially exciting, because according to Chairman for the Association of Illustrators Andrew Coningsby, “The World Illustration Awards are gaining in global significance and reach… In a crowded visual economy, winning awards can make all the difference… A WIA award is a kite mark of quality”.

Forge&MarrowWinning entry for Advertising Professional category, Australian designers Forge & Morrow. Source: Association of Illustrators

What Makes an Artist: Steve Rosendale

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