Fingers crossed as 40 finalists compete for region’s major art prize

Gerwyn Davies - Mirror 2021

Forty contemporary 2D artists have been selected and will now vie for the top gong in one of Australia’s most recognised art awards, the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2022.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the region’s flagship 2D art prize attracted an impressive 487 high-level entries from across the nation.

“The scope and quality of the entries is an excellent representation of both the rising momentum of our regions art prize and a fabulous window into the forefront of contemporary art,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The winning artwork will be acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, which now includes winning works by Raquel Ormella (2017), Michael Cook (2016) and Diena Georgetti (2019), among many other artists who continue to challenge, delight or inspire us.”

Winners will be announced by this year’s guest judge Ellie Buttrose, Curator, Contemporary Australian Art, QAGOMA on October 6, 2022

Ms Buttrose will award the recipients of the Major prize, Highly Commended and Artist Residency, while the People’s Choice prize is chosen by visitors to the exhibition. 

Caloundra Regional Gallery Manager and Curator Jo Duke said the finalist works chosen would create an extraordinarily colourful exuberant exhibition.

“Colour was a strong element within all the entries received, perhaps providing an outlet to our way of thinking and living during the past year,” Ms Duke said.

“There are lyrical pieces such as Ian Gunn’s (QLD) Psithurism, and moments of stillness within the exuberance of the exhibition such as Mark Tweedie (WA) For now that I am old.

“The idea of places of safety is evident in Laurel Foenander’s​ (NSW) Stay Home 2021​ and the thought of places came through in local First Nations Sunshine Coast artist Cholena Hughes’ Her Journey.

“As always ideas of self are very much on display, examples being Gerwyn Davies’ (NSW), Mirror and Anh Nguyen Rainy Month, Self-Portrait in Favourite Dress.

“The exhibition balances between abstract, realism and impressionist style of making.

“It is also always wonderful to have several of our local artists showing alongside their national peers and we’re delighted to present them within the show.”

Of the 16 Queensland artists selected as finalists, three Sunshine Coast locals made the grade with Mount Mellum artist Cholena Hughes, Alexandra Headland artist Jordyn Burnett and Coolum Beach artist Casey Hewitt on the billing.

The Sunshine Coast Art Prize Exhibition will be on show from August 26 to October 16.

Prizes and supporters

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news, events and exhibitions by subscribing to the e-newsletter at gallery.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or following @caloundraregionalgallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Caloundra Regional Gallery is open from 10am, Tuesday to Sunday and located at 22 Omrah Avenue, Caloundra.

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