Katherine Savage announced as the $20,000 Stanthorpe Art Prize Winner

Published by: Nicola Holly | 8-Jun-2016
A packed house on June 3rd at the Stanthorpe Art Gallery saw Katherine Savage walk away with the overall prize.
A packed house in Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery saw Katherine Savage announced as this year's Stanthorpe Art Prize winner. Her triptych Around Here captivated the eyes of both the judges and audience members. Looking visibly shocked, the artist gracefully thanked her fellow competitors, family and the gallery.

"I recently started painting again after I retired at sixty and was not expecting this accolade,' she exclaimed. "The piece was started when I was living in Warwick and there are many aspects of the region depicted in this work."

Judges Ron Ramsey, Executive Director Art Society, NSW Art Gallery and Dr Kyla McFarlane, QAGoMA, Brisbane commented on the technical ambition of the piece. "Whilst most of the paintings for the art prize can be broadly divided into two categories, landscape and portraiture, this work incredibly captures both, incorporating numerous deftly realised portraits of the native fauna it depicts,' the commented. "There is a lot of sheer enjoyment in this work for viewers of all ages."

The Stanthorpe Art Festival is the second oldest art prize in Queensland and has many proud supports. "The Stanthorpe Art Festival has world-wide recognition. This is a credit to the gallery and the volunteers," said long-term supporter Anne Lindsay.

"The gallery is such a lovely building with great artwork on show. The festival is a major community event and the art gallery is certainly recognised as a leading regional art gallery. It has a definite presence in the community."

Gallery Director Nicola Holly was extremely proud of the prize and the exhibition as an overall. "This year we had a record amount of entries (715) from artists all across the country and even the U.S.A and New Zealand. It's a real testament to the gallery that we've become recognised as one of the leading art festivals in the country. I honestly can't believe how much money we give away, it's beyond life changing for an artist and I'm so proud to facilitate this prize," she said.

The Australia Council has some interesting statistics about the artistic workforce: more than half of all artists (56%) earned less than $10,000pa from their creative income and only 12% earned more than $50,000.

"Needless to say it is incumbent upon us all to encourage and support emerging artists "“ to purchase work when they exhibit and to ensure our walls and spaces at home (and work) are lined with original works of art."

Ms Holly also commented on the plethora of contemporary works exhibited this year. When people think of a regional art gallery they associate us with a generalised, largely landscape based presentation of works and this year's exhibition couldn't be further from that. It was great to see how many of our finalists were interested in street art and its influences. From outright paintings portraying characters with spray cans in their hands to graffiti backgrounds, the array of works is quite mind-blowing."

The finalists' exhibition has already attracted record crowds from both local and interstate visitors. This year, the gallery is also offering a high quality selection of public programs including candle making, Director talks and even yoga in the gallery!

The exhibition runs until 17th July and should not be missed.

Visit www.stanthorpeartfestival.com.au for images and further information and follow us on social media for more updates.

Full list of winners:

Emerging Artist Award - Nadja Burke. Gaia Fantasy. Porcelain.

Volunteers Choice Award - Helen Redmond. The Shed. Oil on canvas.

Significant 2D Work Award - Jane Grealy. Moonlight Trampoline. Charcoal on paper.

Significant 3D Work Award - Julie Pennington. White_ Botanical. Porcelain.

Stanthorpe Art Festival 2016 Award "“ Katherine Savage. Around Here. Acrylic on board.

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