WHYALLA ART PRIZE 2015
In 1972, the Whyalla Art Prize was established by the Whyalla Arts Council. Originally designed to promote regional emerging artists, the prize has flourished and developed into a significant award and is seen as an important exhibition of contemporary arts in Australia. Every two years one lucky winner will be $25,000 better off and there are also awards from One Steel for talented kids … It was a scorcher with hot deserty winds as the judges arrived in Whyalla after a bumpy flight but fortunately it cooled down a smidgen for the hard yakka. As is the tradition, previous winner Grant Hill joined CCAS Director David Broker and Senior Curator of the Samstag Museum Susan Jenkins for two fun filled days of judging. With 66 works shortlisted it was no easy task but eventually the judges settled on Intersect # 201504 Lambda Print to face-mounted 6mm Plexiglas by Paul Snell from Launceston. There is a small picture above to give you the idea. There are two youth awards from One Steel and these went to Olivia White (18-26) for her extraordianary painting Space between Spaces: Unknown and Fenella Hall ‘s A Beautiful Menace, a gorgeous water colour about foxes took the Under 18s award. Several people got special mentions because the judges wanted to give them firm encouragement – these are winners of the future and included Henry Witjika Young from Moonta with Who will keep my grandfather’s stories when they close down out home? Claire Bishop’s video Iron Child is also a absolute cracker !
The $25K was awarded by Jim Pollock Mayor of Whyalla and he delivered a lovely acknowledgement to the traditional custodians, the Malkaripangala people. Steve Saffel from Country Arts SA was MC and the judges called up by the Mayor mercifully kept their mouths closed. Peter Rostig from One Steel handed out the youth awards and there is some impressive young uns on the rise. Then it was all jolly good fun as we mingled at the bar ….