A Year in Review: Bluethumb Highlights of 2022

As the year comes to a close, it’s only natural to reminisce and reflect on the memorable moments and achievements of 2022. Bluethumb experienced many highlights in 2022. We celebrated our 10th anniversary and welcomed the launch of our new flagship Melbourne gallery.

The Bluethumb Art Prize 2022

This year we held the largest art prize in Australia, with a total prize pool of $250,000. This year’s Art Prize received over 8,000 entries  – smashing the 2021 record by nearly 3,000 entries. The overall winner was Lauren Starr for her photograph, Midas’ Daughter II – Golden Still Life. Lauren was the Photography Category Award winner for the second year in a row, with her intricate and meaningful photographs. The annual Bluethumb Art Prize continues to evolve and we cannot wait to see next year’s entries. 

Lauren Starr pictured with her Bluethumb Art Prise 2022 photography category award.

Lauren Starr, overall Bluethumb Art Prize 2022 and photography category winner, pictured with her award.

Melbourne Gallery Official Opening

In classic Melbourne fashion, 200 guests braved a cold, stormy winter’s night and attended our official gallery opening. The rain (commonly thought to symbolise strength and fertility) was just mother nature wishing us good luck. Our founders, George and Ed Hartley, welcomed new and familiar faces into the bustling gallery. What a night to remember! We all still salivate at the memory of that delicious grazing board… 

Have you ever seen a more delicious spread? Yum!

How delicious does this look? Yum!

We Headed to Dark Mofo!

In June, our team travelled to Hobart, Tasmania, where we attended Dark Mofo; a midwinter festival celebrating the dark through large-scale art, music, fire, light, and noise. The trip included work, quality time, food, and (most importantly) lots of art!

The Bluethumb team at Brook Street Pier

Hosting the Ken Done: Twenty Years Exhibition

In October, our Melbourne gallery walls adorned the Ken Done: Twenty Years exhibition. Two of Ken’s artworks, Rainbow Lorikeets and Magpies and Lorikeets sold on the night along with several other small-scale pieces. The lucky art collectors included members of our very own Bluethumb family.

Bluethumb founders, George and Edward Hartley, with Ken Done at the Ken Done: Twenty Years Exhibition opening night.

Bluethumb Digital Drops

This year saw the release of Bluethumb digital’s first art drop: Genesis, which included a curated collection of 92 exclusive artworks from some of the best digital artists in Australia. It included digital art by Marble Mannequin, Tammy Kanat, and ROBSON. An all-female drop titled Muses followed in the wake of our first release. Yasmin Shima was the third and final digital drop of 2022. Yasmin’s Free Frida curation is Bluethumb Digital’s first Artist Series: a drop exclusively exhibiting the work of one digital artist. 

Bluethumb co-founder George Hartley shows off some freshly released NFTs.

George Hartley shows off some Bluethumb Digital NFTs.

Lastly, today we bid a heartfelt farewell to Bluethumb’s Head of Artist Growth, Hannah. Hannah has been instrumental in fostering our artist community and Bluethumb’s overall identity and culture. We wish Hannah the best in her new role as the Manager of Papulankutja Art Centre in Blackstone, WA. To say goodbye, Hannah has put together a special curation, full of her all-time favourite Bluethumb artworks.

As the gallery lights dim and champaign corks pop, we raise a glass to 2022. The Bluethumb team thanks our artists and collectors for a fabulous year. We wish you a safe and happy festive season and look forward to continuing to support Australian artists in 2023.

Blue night hydrangea by Sophie Lawrence.
Top 10 Artists of 2022

One Comment

  1. Jo Menzel says:

    Well done to team at Bluethumb. As an emerging artist, the artworks have been a great inspiration to me. Loved the diversity of same Good luck for 2023.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *