Collie offers rich regional art prize

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Collie will offer Australia’s richest regional art prize in its latest effort to attract tourists and transition from a coal mining town to a centre for the arts.

The Collie Art Gallery will offer a $50,000 first prize when the inaugural winner is announced in March.

The prize, donated by Collie’s Bendigo Bank, is the most generous regional art prize in Australia and the competition will also include a $5000 prize and a $1000 people’s choice award.

Collie Gallery Group board member Don Clark said it was hoped the event would attract many people to the town.

“We’re committed to making the Collie Art Prize a success on all fronts,” Mr Clark said.

“We want everyone involved, the participating artists, the people of Collie and the public whom we hope will come far and wide to see the exhibition and to recognise it as one of the best art events in Australia.”

Collie Art Gallery chairwoman Trudi Curran said the theme of the prize was thought about in depth.

“The competition’s theme of identity will invite artists to submit significant artworks which will explore the age old issues of identity and belonging that define who we are and how we relate to the world around us,” she said.

“The theme is open to the exploration of our various identities and groups we belong to as they change over time and in different contexts.

“Factors that can be explored include upbringing, past experiences, gender, race or nationality, culture, age or maturity, education, work experience, socio-economic groups, religion, beliefs and values, the groups we belong to and the people we admire.

“The competition invites entries in a variety of mediums and artistic treatment of the subject that will ultimately combine in an exhibition which will provoke discussion and introspection.”

Entries to the Collie Art Prize in the first instance will by digital submission through the gallery’s website.

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