Ballarat farewells the Archibald Prize

Master work: A gallery visitor takes a final look at Betina Fauvel-Ogden's portrait of George Calombaris, the winner of this year's Archibald Packing Room Prize. Picture: Dylan Burns

Master work: A gallery visitor takes a final look at Betina Fauvel-Ogden's portrait of George Calombaris, the winner of this year's Archibald Packing Room Prize. Picture: Dylan Burns

Art Gallery of Ballarat staff will begin the arduous task of packing up the perennially popular Archibald Prize exhibition.

Gallery marketing and public programs officer Peter Freund said while the numbers weren’t finalised yet, this year’s attendance figures were likely to top those reached in 2015.

The Archibald Prize exhibition has now completed its two-year stint in Ballarat. Next year, the Victorian home for the exhibition will be Geelong.

Mr Freund said the gallery would use its Archibald experience in planning future exhibitions of scale.

“It’s been really good to boost our profile and to have that many thousands of people who come to Ballarat specifically to see the gallery and discover the gallery,” Mr Freund said.

“The fact the Archibald is moving on, we will now use that as a springboard to offer our audience other projects. It’s certainly a model in how to accommodate a very, very popular exhibition project.”

The exhibition will now move to Wagga Wagga.