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Finalists Revealed in Preparation for Kennedy Prize Announcement

BY JP Media | 26-Aug-2019
Anticipation is building in the national arts community in the lead up to this week’s 2019 Kennedy Arts Prize winner announcement.
Finalists Revealed in Preparation for Kennedy Prize Announcement
2018 Kennedy Prize winner Angus Hamra's portrait of Tkay Maidza
The 50 finalists for the $25,000 Kennedy Prize will feature in an exhibition at the Royal South Australian Society of the Arts at the State Library from August 31 until September 15.

The Kennedy Prize is a national visual art competition that continues to honour the legacy of its founder, philanthropist and business identity, Robert Kennedy. The prize honours Mr. Kennedy’s legacy of inspiring artists to create works of excellence, cultural relevance, commercial value and beauty.

Kennedy Prize Co-ordinator Mark Kennedy, who is one of Mr Kennedy’s five children, said the 2019 competition has attracted a high calibre of submissions following a successful year in 2018.

“It’s been inspiring to note the evolution of the Kennedy Prize and the quality of submissions that we have attracted has been second to none”, he said.

“Last year’s winner, Angus Hamra and his portrait of singer-songwriter and rapper, Tkay Maidza garnered significant attention amongst the artistic and wider community”.

The theme of ‘beauty’ will return this year in honour of Mark Kennedy’s late paternal grandmother, who always found beauty in everyday life.

“My grandmother taught the family that we are surrounded by beauty in this world. Art is a wonderful way of expressing beauty for people of all ages to appreciate. After the success of last year we made the conscious decision to revisit the beauty theme as we felt there was much more to explore,” he said.

The Prize, offered by the Kennedy Arts Foundation, is based and exhibited in Adelaide but is open to Australian artists nationwide. This year’s winner will be revealed during the private 2019 Kennedy Prize Exhibition Launch event on Friday, August 30.

Kennedy Arts Foundation Director Shane Kennedy, another of Mr Kennedy’s sons, said his father would be proud to see the Kennedy Prize thriving.

“Art was an integral part of my father’s world. Dad would be pleased that the prize is helping artists realise their full potential while also providing some much-needed funding in the arts. Dad always believed that artists needed platforms and support to exhibit their talents,” he said.

“The Prize celebrates the exceptional talent in Australian art and is a platform to expose the wider community to the beauty that exists in the work of artists around our great country.”

Voting for a People’s Choice Award will be conducted during the exhibition, while the Foundation’s Choice will showcase an exciting array of emerging and established Australian artistic talent. Both are open to the general public from August 31 until September 13. Entry is free.

The overall winner will receive $25,000 and their work will be acquired by the Foundation to help fund the prize money for the following year. For more information and to view the list of finalists, please visit kennedyprize.com.au.

The Kennedy Prize 2019 is proudly sponsored by National Australia Bank and National Pharmacies.