18 April 2022

Top Queanbeyan arts awards offer $12,000, place in council collection

| James Coleman
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Henry Smith Exhibition

Henry Smith’s interpretation of the Queanbeyan River. Photo: Rusten House Art Centre.

Up to $12,000 in prizes are up for grabs in Queanbeyan next month as the annual art awards return.

Every year since 2008, council has called on artists from Queanbeyan, Braidwood, Bungendore and everywhere in between to pick up their paint brushes or carving tools and take part.

Not only does the major prize winner pocket $5000 in cash, the artist is offered an immortal place in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s collection of 130-plus works.

This year, QPRC is partnering with the Bendigo Bank’s Braidwood and Bungendore community branches to host the 2022 Art Awards & Exhibition from 12 May to 11 June.

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Other prizes include the $3000 3D Award for small sculptures and other objects, and $2000 for emerging artists aged from 18 to 29. These will be jointly judged by respected independent arts professionals from the region, who will be announced soon.

There’s also the $1000 Bendigo Pick Prize chosen by the bank’s management board, and the $1000 People’s Choice Award.

Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre

The Q (Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre). Photo: VisitNSW.

The winners will be announced during an awards evening at The Q exhibition space on Thursday, 12 May.

The People’s Choice Award will be announced on the council’s Facebook and Instagram pages once the public has a chance to view entrants at the subsequent exhibition from 13 May to 11 June (open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm).

QPRC’s team leader for Culture, Arts and Museums Janita Byrne said last year’s number of submissions was testament to the talent within the region.

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“The QPRC region punches above its weight in artistic talent, making the judging process a challenging but rewarding process,” Janita said. “Last year we had just over 70 works submitted.”

The winner of last year’s $5000 Acquisitive Award, Sally Simpson’s sculpture Fragile Equilibrium, was made of waxed animal bones, copper, steel and thread. An art school graduate and local farmer, Ms Simpson also won in 2017.

Sally Simpson’s ‘Fragile Equilibrium’, winner of the QPRC Art Awards 2021. Photo: QPRC.

The art awards follow a partnership between QPRC and the Queanbeyan Art Society dating back to 1975.

The council sponsored a major acquisitive prize at the society’s annual exhibition. It’s these prizes that make up most of today’s 130-plus artworks on display at Queanbeyan City Council Chambers. Others have been gifted.

While assuming more of a background role today, Queanbeyan Art Society president Barry Cranston said the annual awards were “a tremendous thing” and their 350 members would be encouraged to take part.

“Our membership ranges from Brisbane to Batemans Bay, and we are the only art society in Australia to put on an exhibition every month of the year, with over 120 works,” he said. “The more the merrier, as far as we’re concerned.”

Interested artists must register their works online at www.qprc.nsw.gov.au/art-award before Wednesday, 27 April.

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