More than 200 entries were received from as far afield as Margaret River and Broome, with a total of 37 artworks selected for exhibition at Rockingham Arts Centre on Kent Street from Saturday 3 to Saturday 17 October.
Curator Lyn DiCiero said the high number of entries was proof the City has reacted to a need in the community with impeccable timing. “With so many key galleries closing in Perth in recent years, the concept of the art award has become a crucial outlet for artists to exhibit and sell their work.’
“It’s a welcome new art prize in Western Australia at an extraordinary time in the visual arts when artists have reduced opportunities to exhibit.”
The major prize in the Open category of $3,000, is an acquisitive award and includes established artists who have continuously practiced art for more than five years. Non-acquisitive awards include a $2,500 Heritage Award focussing on the history and heritage of the Rockingham region, and a $2,500 Indigenous Award. A $1,000 Emerging Artists Award includes artists who have practiced their art continually for less than five years. A $250 People’s Choice Prize will be awarded to the artist with the most public votes. The major acquisitive winning work will become part of the City of Rockingham Art Collection.
The Art Awards focuses on gallery-scale 2D and 3D artworks and includes a tiny Boab tree made from silver and gemstones, a colourful toucan in clay and plaster, and an encaustic painting created using heated and coloured beeswax, creating mystery and intrigue.
Exhibiting artists include Lesley Barrett, June and Jean Pastore, Ashley Collard, Michael Doherty, Ileana Rozitis, Shookoofeh Azar, Annie Otness and Andy Kent among others.
City of Rockingham Mayor, Barry Sammels said: “The City supports our local art community through many different competitions including writing, poetry, film, photography and the Castaways sculpture exhibition.
The new Art Award aligns with Council’s aspiration to strengthen the community through capacity building and wellbeing opportunities and with more than 200 entries the new Art Awards has proved a hit with the art community.”