Award-winning Bundaberg-raised artist Tim Gruchy has a tough task ahead of him as he judges this year’s Bundaberg Art Prize.
Lavish storytelling paintings, delicate collages and intricate drawings fill the large Quay Street site, while ceramic masterpieces, 3D sculptures and more, capture the eye of passers-by at the second location in Suncorp Arcade on Bourbong Street.
Bundaberg Art Prize 2020 had 420 individual pieces entered, which is on par with the inaugural Bundaberg Art Prize last year.
This year 260 different artists, aged from 6 to 86, entered the Bundaberg Art Prize, providing a range of artwork.
With Tim’s extensive art career, judging was a feat he looked forward to for the first time.
He said he was looking for a piece that captivated him, drawing him back time after time to view.
“One has to be very responsible as a judge, as these are rare opportunities where you can influence a persons career,” he said.
“I don’t think it is tough in the terms of quality and range of work, but if you take judging seriously as I do, it’s a privileged opportunity, and an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s career as an artist.
“My wife Rhana Devenport, is the director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, and she has judged some prestigious art competitions in the past.
“I will be evoking her and I understand the context and importance of what a prize can do, not just for an artist, but for Bundaberg, for regionalism and culture in that context of regional centres like Bundaberg that I feel very passionate about.
“Art is a subjective thing, and it should always be subjective.
“And as I walk around at the moment there are definitely pieces that jump out to me, and speak to me more.”
First time for film entries at Bundaberg Art Prize
Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley said it was pleasing to have video submissions for the first time, with 10 entries submitted into the digital media section.
“It’s actually quite exciting; we will have the films projected on a wall for people to watch as they come into the exhibition,” Phil said.
“It’s good to have people embracing that media, as everything is inclusive as art.
“We also have jewellery in the 3D art section also, so everyone’s creativity is not limited and there is a section for everything.”
Phil said there was a combination of artwork provided, including a number of high-end pieces from serious artists, through to people who wanted to just support the local art scene.
“There are the people who just want to embrace and celebrate Bundaberg as an artistic hub,” Phil said.
“It is the biggest exhibition in Bundaberg, and I encourage the community to come and take a look.”
Phil said the hard yards had now been done and they were eager to open the door on Friday evening, with a COVID-safe plan in place, to announce the winners.
The Bundaberg Art Prize exhibition will then be open until Sunday morning, 22 November.
For more information or to watch the live-streamed Facebook announcement of the winners on Friday evening click here.