Three local artists have made the cut from a record number of entries vying for honours in this year’s prestigious KILGOUR PRIZE.
Carrington resident Gillian Adamson has been named a finalist in her first year, with Merewether-based Nick Fintan and John Earle also on the list.
Newcastle Art Gallery (NAG) received 476 works from artists across every state and territory in Australia, an increase of more than 100 from 2020 – and the highest figure overall in the 16-year history of one of Australia’s major art prizes.
Almost 2900 works have been entered into the KILGOUR PRIZE since it was established in 2006.
The field was narrowed to just 30 finalists, whose works will be judged by a panel of experts including NAG director Lauretta Morton, Campbelltown Arts Centre head of curatorial Adam Porter and the head teacher of fine art at Newcastle Art School, David Trout.
The KILGOUR PRIZE awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work entered into the annual competition, which is administered by Newcastle Art Gallery and funded by a bequest from artist Jack Noel Kilgour.
An additional $5,000 is presented to the painting voted most popular by the general public.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the record entries were testament to the esteem in which the prize and Newcastle Art Gallery were held within the artistic community.
“Since the KILGOUR PRIZE was established in 2006 its reputation within the art community has grown significantly,” she explained.
“Attracting almost 500 entries for this year’s prize is an amazing achievement, with the diversity and quality of the works as impressive as ever.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to impact those within our visual arts community, which makes the $50,000 prize and the opportunity to have their works showcased at Newcastle Art Gallery all the more valuable for the talented finalists.”
Ms Morton said the KILGOUR PRIZE presented some of the best examples of contemporary Australian portrait and figurative painting.
“It encourages Australian artists to pursue and push the boundaries of portraiture and figurative painting,” she stated.
“This year’s selected artists present diverse interpretations of the brief, resulting in a very dynamic exhibition with works focussing on everything from experiences in lockdown through to scenes of everyday life.
“The quality of the works will make the selection process all the more difficult, but that is a wonderful challenge to have.”
New South Wales and Victorian artists make up more than half of the 30 finalists, with works also coming from Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
The exhibition will be on display from 13 August, the same night the winner’s announced, until 31 October, with People’s Choice voting open until 6 October.
Lisa Adams, Gillian Adamson, Matteo Bernasconi, Jackson Booth, Catherine Boreham, Julie-Ann Brown, Simon Brown, Daniel Butterworth, Emily Jayne Carroll, John Dahlsen, Archer Davies, Rachelle Dusting, John Earle, David Fairbairn, Nick Fintan, Christine Fontana, Miriam Fraser, Michael Lindeman, Nunzio Miano, Robert O’Connor, Nathan Paddison, Lori Pensini, Alice Pulvers, James R Randall, Zeljka Reljan-Music, Grace Kemarre Robinya, Paul Ryan, Jason Tolmie, Mick Turner and Mark Tweedie
For further information, visit https://www.nag.org.au/Kilgour-Prize
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