The Archibald Prize 2017 Regional Tour exhibition is now open at Newcastle Art Gallery. The exhibition coincides with the launch of the current year’s Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Newcastle is the fifth venue on the exhibition’s seven-venue tour – and will be on display in Newcastle for a six week period, closing on Sunday 24 June.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said hosting the Archibald Prize is a coveted opportunity for many regional galleries.
“We are so pleased that the Archibald Prize regional tour has returned to Newcastle Art Gallery,” said the Lord Mayor.
“The annual Prize and the exhibition are eagerly anticipated by art-loving audiences and it is fantastic to have it back in our city.”
Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the Prize is accessible to many people regardless of their knowledge of art.
“I love its ability to engage such a broad audience,” Morton said. “Visitors feel comfortable in an art prize, everyone can walk through the exhibition and use their own judgement to decide if they agree or disagree with the judges’ decisions.
“The Archibald Prize has been running for almost one hundred years, and has certainly had its fair share of controversy.”
An annual, non-acquisitive painting prize presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards, with the top prize awarded to the best portrait painting.
The Archibald Prize exhibition is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists. The Archibald awards $100,000 to the best portrait preferably of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia.
The 2017 touring exhibition presents 43 finalists from 822 entries, and includes portraits of well-known sitters including Lisa Wilkinson AM and Francis Greenslade, and arts philanthropists such as Liz Laverty and Rupert Myer AO. Two sitters are Newcastle artists Lottie Consalvo and James Drinkwater in the painting Lottie and James by Jonathan Dalton.
Archibald Prize 2017 at Newcastle Art Gallery is a ticketed exhibition, $10 general admission, $7 Gallery Foundation and Society members, $7 concession, and free for children under 12, and pre-booked education groups.