Organisers of the revamped and ambitious Bundaberg Art Prize ’19 have been overwhelmed by support from the local arts community after receiving 450 entries.
The Bundaberg Art Prize is being offered for the first time this year as a relaunch of the popular Bundaberg Arts Festival, offering a $10,000 major prize.
Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley said they received 450 entries from 250 different artists.
He said he doesn’t believe the festival has ever had so many entries in the past.
“They’ve certainly never had that many artists,” Phil said.
“We were expecting maybe 250, 350 would have been good – 450 is just insane!”
While the Art Prize attracted some out-of-town entrants Phil said the local support in particular had been really rewarding to see.
“The majority — about 85 per cent — have been submitted by artists in the Wide Bay area,” he said.
“There are local people I have never seen before. Artists are just coming out of the woodwork.
“We’ve also got over 50 young emerging artists entered.”
The artwork will be taken to the streets, set to be displayed in four different “pop up galleries” throughout the Bundaberg CBD.
“I’ve worked out we’ve got roughly 300 metres worth of art,” Phil said.
Luckily judge Lorraine Kypiotis hasn't been daunted by the large number of entries to judge and has in fact welcomed the news, telling Phil she thought it's fantastic.
With so many Bundaberg Art Prize entries he said a major challenge of the event would now be having enough people to manage the venues.
Anyone interested in volunteering during the event can contact Phil via email at [email protected]
Bundaberg Art Prize 2019 will be officially launched on 21 September with a gala opening and the displays will be open to the public until September 29.
Phil encouraged everyone in the community to take part in the event.
“All artworks are for sale,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to go and buy some local art from our very talented artists.”