Great diversity in 2015 Mid West Art Prize

 Frank Walsh SNR - ‘Wandarrie Country Rock Art’ by Frank Walsh Snr.

Frank Walsh SNR - ‘Wandarrie Country Rock Art’ by Frank Walsh Snr.

The much anticipated Mid West Art Prize Exhibition will be re-launched on Saturday 28 February 2015 and is set to showcase a diverse number of pieces from artists around Western Australia. 

Geraldton-born Professor Ted Snell (AM, Cit WA) who is currently a Winthrop Professor and Director of the Cultural Precinct at the University of Western Australia, will officially open the Exhibition this Saturday. 

Because the exhibition is open to artists from throughout WA, working in any medium, visitors can expect an exhibition of great diversity comprised of individual works of a very high standard.

Of the 247 works entered for consideration, 61 works were selected for exhibition.  This selection process was conducted by Allison Archer, manager; Turner Galleries Perth, Paola Anselmi; independent arts writer, curator and public art advisor to the City of Perth and James Davies Director of the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery. 

Both Allison and Paola will assist Professor Snell in judging the exhibition prior to the official opening. 

Director of the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, James Davies, said the work selected includes installation pieces, light projections, super real painting, prints, sculptures, drawings and Indigenous works and that all selected works are required to be new creations, thereby ensuring an exhibition of quality, freshness and variety. 

“The City of Greater Geraldton recognises that one of the pillars of the City’s Strategic Plan is to support the development of a strong arts and cultural sector and their continued support, along with that of the Art Gallery of WA and local business sponsorship has ensured the continuation of the Art Prize,” he said. 

“This greatly appreciated and crucial support affords the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery the opportunity to provide an overall prize pool of $45,000 in non-acquisitive awards - an amount rarely equalled or surpassed by other regional galleries throughout the nation.” 

Mayor Ian Carpenter said the Mid West Art prize was a great representation of the State’s artistic talent. 

“The Art Prize has also proved to be an excellent opportunity for the acquisition of art works for the City’s art collection and a doubling of acquisition funds in 2012 is a further demonstration of the City’s commitment to regional cultural development,” he said. 

“The Mid West Art Prize is rapidly attaining an excellent reputation throughout the West Australian arts community and the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery is confident that it will continue to grow in stature from year to year.” 

The Gallery celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014 and over this time many new and varied initiatives have been put in place but few have been of more significance than the establishment of the Mid West Art Prize in 2011. 

However, after thirty years of servicing the artistic needs of the Mid West community, the gallery was in need of a serious upgrade. This upgrade took place during 2014 resulting in the deferral of the fourth Art Prize until 2015. 

Works completed include the replacement of the aged climate control system, removal of asbestos, re-configuration of exhibition spaces, creation of store facilities, installation of a new display system and a thorough clean up and repair of the interior and exterior. 

This work will greatly enhance the overall aesthetic of the Art Prize. The Art Prize will be open to the public from March 2 to May 16. 

The award categories for the Mid West Art Prize are as follows: 

$20,000 City of Greater Geraldton Award for Excellence. 
$5,000 Minerals and Metals Group Highly Commended. 
$5,000 Rio Tinto Aboriginal Award.
$5,000 Geraldton Regional Art Gallery Mid West Award. 
$5,000 Geraldton Regional Art Gallery Highly Commended Award.
$3,500 96.5WAFM Youth Award. 
$1,500 People’s Choice Award. Sponsored by Ian Blayney MLA.

 Joshua Cocking – ‘I Believe The Southern Poets Dream Will Not Be Realised’ by Joshua Cocking.

Joshua Cocking – ‘I Believe The Southern Poets Dream Will Not Be Realised’ by Joshua Cocking.