Some of Ballarat’s most talented and high-profile artists will vye for a coveted acquisitional prize as of this week.
Ballarat Arts Foundation’s biennial Eureka Art Award will also be an opportunity to see the city’s best display their wares – with entrants required to be a previous BAF grant recipient.
Each year, BAF awards grants to a range of artists who have lived, studied or worked in Ballarat, and is regarded as a key factor in turning the city into a thriving arts incubator since its inception in 2000.
This year alone, it distributed $15,000 in grants to help emerging artists and performers follow their dreams.
The Eureka Art Award gives those alumni the chance to exhibit and win a $2500 acquisitional prize or a $500 people’s choice prize.
The exhibition will be held at the Post Office Gallery and feature high-profile alumni including Kim Anderson, Pauline O’Shannessy- Dowling, Deanne Gilson, Aldona Kmiec and Tas Wansbrough.
I think the exhibition is representative of both the calibre of the exhibiting artists and the depth of support for the arts in the Ballarat community.Eureka Art Award coordinator Kiri Smart
Coordinator Kiri Smart said the prize had moved to a biennial event in order to increase the prize dollar value.
She said the gallery and the artists themselves had agreed to a 20 per cent commission on all sales to be donated back into the BAF grants program to assist other artists in future rounds.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to view and purchase artwork by some really outstanding local talent, while assisting BAF to nurture artists of various disciplines through future grant rounds,” Ms Smart said.
“I think the exhibition is representative of both the calibre of the exhibiting artists and the depth of support for the arts in the Ballarat community.”
BAF chairperson Paula Nicholson said the winning piece was acquired by the foundation. She said the exhibition was an opportunity to peruse work by the city’s best.
“It’s a chance to look at everything that’s come together and where people have come from and where they are now,” she said.
“I would say that for all of us involved in the Ballarat Arts Foundation, there’s an immense sense of pride, when we talk to people about what we’re doing both here and abroad.”
Post Office Gallery curator Shelley Hinton said the exhibition celebrated local talent and also BAF’s contribution to the city’s art scene.
The Eureka Art Award opens this Thursday at 5.30pm and continues until December 24.