Blackstone Gallery’s $1,000 art prize seeing BLUE

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Feeling blue this year could have a silver lining for creative types, with Newcastle’s Blackstone Gallery awarding $1,000 to an artist who best portrays the hue.

Advertised in March, the prize called on Australian and New Zealand artists to enter works on paper using the theme ‘BLUE’.

Gallery co-owner Marguerite Tierney said she had received 233 entries in a range of mediums, including photography, oil, pastel and acrylic.

Entries were received from across Australia, with works by prominent award-winning artists such as Sydneysider Libby Moore, Brisbane’s Rachael Wellisch and the Blue Mountains’ Hilary Sims.

BLUE Works On Paper sought artists interpretation of what the word ‘blue’ meant to them.

“The theme resonated with many artists, especially the Melbourne-based artists, with 64 of 233 entries coming from Victoria,” Marguerite said.

“Many connected their works to themes of isolation.

“From colour and concept, to the emotion the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with its lockdowns and social isolation, this year’s prize will give you goosebumps as we reflect on the year that could have been.”

The winning artist will be awarded $1000 cash and the opportunity to host their own solo exhibition at the Hunter Street gallery.

All entries will be uploaded on the gallery’s Instagram page for followers to vote for the Audience Choice Winner, who will win $500.

All works exhibited will be for sale following the exhibition.

Judges include Newcastle artists Lucas Grogan and Sally Bourke, as well as Maitland Regional Art Gallery senior curator Kim Blunt.

“We received many entries from professional artists due to the prominence and high calibre of the judging panel,” co-owner Tim Moran said.

“This provided us with a wide range of submissions filled with diversity in styles, concepts and mediums.”

Judging of the BLUE Works on Paper entries will take place at the Blackstone Gallery at 3pm on Friday 20 November, with the winners announced at 7pm the following day.