The Bluethumb Art Prize 2021 is bigger and better than ever! With $50,000 of cash prizes, double the overall winner’s prize money – $20,000 to be precise – and more opportunities for artists to cement their place in Australia’s art consciousness, this is the art prize to take artists’ careers to the next level.

Bluethumb Art Prize History

2020 Winner

Hubert Pareroultja

Hubert Pareroultja of Iltja Ntjarra (Many Hands) Art Centre, a senior Western Arrarnta-Luritja man continuing the watercolour art movement of the Hermannsburg School, was the overall winner of the Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 and the winner of the Landscape Award.

“I feel his appreciation and comprehension of his own Motherland is something that no other artist can emulate,” Bluethumb Art Prize 2018 winner and 2020 judge Hyunji Kim commented on the winning landscape, Mt Giles, MacDonnell Ranges – Circular Landscape. “The mystic and subtle colour palette and the circle framing beautifully capture the ethereal spirit of the landscape.”

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Bluethumb Art Prize History

2018 Winner

Hyunji Kim

Hyunji Kim, an artist working predominantly with painting from South Korea, won the overall Bluethumb Art Prize 2018 and the Works on Canvas Award with her portrait Painless (Luke).

“A compelling portrait that kept drawing me back. It captured a vulnerability and resignation that strongly evokes the uncertainty of formative years and experiences,” art prize judge and CEO of Contemporary Arts Precinct, Marcus Westbury, commented on the winning work.

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Bluethumb Art Prize History

2017 Winner

Kirsten Sivyer

​​Kirsten Sivyer, a figurative oil painter from Albany, was the winner of the inaugural Bluethumb Art Prize in 2017.

Art prize judge Penny Griggs, General Manager of the South Australian Living Artists Festival, felt that the best element of the winning work, Home Away from Home, is its “beautiful use of light”. “The mood and glow created in this painting stand out for me. I just kept being drawn back to it.”

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Our Partners

Thanks to our sponsors 1 Denison, Fantastic Framing and Eckersley’s Art & Craft, we’re able to offer more prizes than ever and a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our artists. All winners will receive cash prizes and be invited to exhibit at the hugely successful Bluethumb Art Prize Winners Exhibition at 1 Denison next year. Runners-up will receive a $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft gift voucher to stock up on art supplies.

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Bluethumb Art Prize 2021 Entries Open 8th October - 31st October

Our Judges

The introduction of our all-star artist judging panel led to last year’s winners being arguably our best yet. Including some of Australia’s most-renowned artists, plus our reigning Bluethumb Art Prize holder, this year’s panel is diverse and qualified and will not only pick great winners, but continue to get our prize and our artists national attention.⁠ The finalists will be shortlisted by the Bluethumb selection panel before being handed over to our judges, including Head of Art Advisory Amélia Davis, Interior Designer Alexandra Stavrou and Bluethumb Art Prize Director Freddy Grant.

Ken Done

Australia's most famous living artist and national treasure

Kathrin Longhurst

Contemporary figurative artist and this year's Packing Room Prize winner

Hubert Pareroultja

Reigning Bluethumb Art Prize holder and winner of the 2020 Wynne Prize

Bronwyn Bancroft

The first Indigenous artist and fashion designer to show at Paris Fashion Week

The Prizes & Awards

This year we’re extending our categories to include sculpture and digital art. The standard of entries was so high last year that we’ve decided to introduce a runner-up award in each category to give more artists the chance to step into the spotlight, thanks to our sponsor Eckersley’s Art & Craft.

Plus we’re adding a new award, the Founders’ Award, judged by Bluethumb co-founders and brothers Edward and George Hartley. This prize is for large statement pieces, at least 1.5m on one side, as this is the most popular and in-demand artwork on Bluethumb.

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of holding events, again we’re hosting the awards ceremony virtually on Instagram Live on 18th November, building on our highly successful lockdown events. And thanks to our major sponsor 1 Denison, we’re continuing our new tradition of hosting a winners exhibition in early 2022 in their grand exhibition space.

The category award winner with the highest overall score from our expert panel of judges will win the top cash prize. This year’s Bluethumb Art Prize is double the previous years’ prizes!

$20,000 Bluethumb Art Prize

All category winners will receive cash prizes and be invited to exhibit at the hugely successful Bluethumb Art Prize Winners Exhibition at 1 Denison next year. Runners-up will receive a $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft gift voucher to stock up on art supplies.

Abstract Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Landscape Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Portrait Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Still Life Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Photography Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Digital Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

Sculpture Award: $3,000

Runner-Up sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft: $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft Voucher

The new Founders’ Award is judged by Bluethumb co-founders and brothers Edward and George Hartley. This prize is for large statement pieces, at least 1.5m on one side, as this is the most popular and in-demand artwork on Bluethumb. The People’s Choice award is voted for online by the public from the pool of finalists when they’re announced on 9th November and the winner is announced on 7th December.

Founders’ Award: $3,000

People’s Choice Award sponsored by Fantastic Framing: $3,000

All Entries

122cm (W) x 122cm (H)

Mixed Media

$8,800

46cm (W) x 91cm (H)

Oil

$680

53cm (W) x 76.5cm (H)

Watercolour

$850

110cm (W) x 84cm (H)

Acrylic

$2,500

17cm (W) x 22.5cm (H)

Acrylic

$250

80cm (W) x 105cm (H)

Acrylic

$1,490

80cm (W) x 105cm (H)

Acrylic

$1,490

90cm (W) x 60cm (H)

Acrylic

$720

121cm (W) x 80cm (H)

Acrylic

$1,140

60cm (W) x 50cm (H)

Acrylic

$950

41cm (W) x 51cm (H)

Watercolour

$1,280

160cm (W) x 120cm (H)

Mixed Media

$1,800

100cm (W) x 100cm (H)

Acrylic

$1,150

91cm (W) x 61cm (H)

Acrylic

$400