The 2018 Outback Archies Art Prize & Exhibition was officially opened on Thursday 27th September at the Outback Arts Creative Arts Centre in Coonamble. Over 70 locals and visitors attended with artists and supporters travelling from afar to celebrate the artistic talent of our communities. The crowd also enjoyed some locally made food, artist talks, as well as the announcement of the winning artists for 2018.
Now in its eighth year, the Archies attracted entries from all over the region going as far west as Broken Hill and across to Moree. This popular exhibition and art prize is all about celebrating the colour, creativity and spirit of our communities across the Far West.
There were a total of 107 artworks entered across the four categories of Open Art (painting, etching, sketching, pastel), Photography, Ceramics and Sculpture, all exploring the theme of ‘Legends and Landscapes’. After completing the pre-selection process, the number of entries successful for exhibition was 87.
Outback Arts were excited to team up with neighbouring arts boards Arts North West and West Darling Arts for the 2018 prize. There were also a number of generous local sponsors as well as metro galleries to offer exciting prize packages. As well as cash, the winning artist of each category also received an exhibition with a metro gallery. Campbelltown Arts Centre, Studio MV, Kerrie Lowe Gallery and Bank Art Museum Moree (BAMM) all jumped on board to offer our regional artists the opportunity to extend their practice and profile.
The judging panel was made up of Adam Porter, visual arts curator at the Campbelltown Arts Centre, David Everest, manager of Engagement & Partnerships at Create NSW, and local established artist Colleen Graham. Adam and David both also addressed the crowd and were impressed with the quality of work and level of ingenuity, as well as the new gallery spaces and facilities.
First place in the Open Art section was Annie Murray of Walgett for her portrait ‘Mary O’Brien’, while second place was awarded to John Murray of Lightning Ridge for his painting ‘How Now Brown Cow’.
In Photography, Mardi Remond of Walgett won with her shot of a cattle yard dust up. Second place was taken by Barbara Scott of Gilgandra for her work titled ‘Wander’.
The Sculpture category was won by Catherine Goldsmith from Coonamble for her stunning natural work ‘Rolling Along’, with Barb Deans of Baradine taking second place for her wood and metal work titled ‘Legend Sheep.’
In ceramics the top prize went to Anna Kaineder of Coonamble with her sculptural piece titled ‘Rainclouds II Vase’, with Melissa Kelly of Gilgandra coming in second with her porcelain animal pieces ‘Kangaroo, Wombat, Koala & Possum’.
The Aboriginal Art Award went to a new face to the Archies which is photographer George Williams of Walgett, for his shot titled ‘End of the Line’.
This year there was also the addition of two new prizes after a $3000 anonymous donation to the project. A Packing Room Prize was awarded by the staff who unpacked and installed the exhibition, which went to Viki Murray of Lightning Ridge for her portrait titled ‘Now & Zen’. The other new addition is the Outback Archies Prize ($1000) for an overall winner who the judges deem have explored and represented the theme at the highest level. This went to Lisa Wheeler for her screenprint of the iconic Coonamble store Leonards.
The People’s Choice Award was announced at the conclusion of the exhibition with Merren Turnbull from Bourke being the clear winner with her pastel work titled ‘Nature’s Ferocity’.
Eliza Walters, Communications Officer said “The Outback Archies is important because it celebrates artists who live where we live, in the country, where it’s tough to make a living, but a beautiful place to live!”
SPONSORS & PARTNERS:
West Darling Arts & Arts North West
North West Vets
Waterford Ryan Solicitors
CJ’s Country Kitchen
Coonamble Supa IGA.
We would also like to thank Western Herald, Coonamble Times and 2WEB Outback Radio for their support.