Entries open for new ‘history-making’ art prize

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Robert Stephens at Aarwun Gallery

ENTRIES have just opened for the inaugural National Capital Art Prize which offers a prize pool of $45,000.

Founder and director of the prize, Robert Stephens, believes that it’s making Australian art history as the only art competition to allow entrants to paint any vision, such as portrait, landscape or abstract, and use any medium such as oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media, or pencil, on any theme.

In another unique aspect, he says, each artist can enter up to four different paintings in any combination of the four main categories, which include Open, First Nations Prize for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander artists, Landscape and Student.

A two-tiered adjudication process will see the best of the best selected as finalists for a further round of judging to decide the category winners.

Stephen said he was thrilled with the reaction to the awards since the prize was announced on March 10.

“The level of support and interest we have received reflects the need Australia has had for a forum where paintings of any type can be viewed, studied, critiqued and sold – all through one competition,” he said.

Landscape artist Ken Knight at work.

Stephens also stressed that finalists’ works will be available for sale, giving the artists a strong commercial opportunity.

“Australian artists have struggled for visibility over the last 12 months and these Awards give them a platform for exposure and commercial opportunity,” he said.

Australian plein air artist Ken Knight, a top-seller with Stephens’s Aarwun Gallery, emphasises the importance of the award for landscape artists, saying: “To have an art prize that recognises and acknowledges this genre of painting is applauded… The depiction of landscape in all its forms has been pivotal in shaping how Australians perceive their identity within the context of our large and diverse landmass.”

Finalists in the National Capital Art Prize will be announced on August 2 and displayed in a public exhibition in Canberra from September 18.

Entries from citizens and permanent residents of Australia over 18 years of age will close on July 1 at nationalcapitalartprize.com.au where all details are available.


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