HomeLifestyleArtsBundaberg Art Prize ’21 now open

Bundaberg Art Prize ’21 now open

Bundaberg Art Prize ’21
Bundaberg Art Prize president Phil Oakley launches the competition for 2021

Entries are now open for the return of the region’s most prestigious art competition Bundaberg Art Prize ’21.

This year, for the first time, the exhibition will run across two weeks allowing for more people to attend the highly anticipated art event.

Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley said with a colossal $20,000 in prize money the competition was not only the most admired art prize in the Bundaberg Region, but it was also comparable to other highly esteemed national art competitions such as the Lethbridge Art Award, and he said it was coup for the region.

The successful event draws artist from across Australia to take an interest in the annual competition, and local artist of all abilities are encouraged to enter.

“If Bundaberg is doing a $10,000 first prize and something like the Lethbridge, that is a well-established art prize, is doing $20,000 you can see this is making Bundaberg comparable,” he said.

“To me that is the draw card that will bring in really good artists, but also engage the lesser or amateur artist to enter as well.”

There are four sections: easel works, works on paper, digital work and 3D work, in Bundaberg Art Prize ’21 and each have a $2000 prize.

The Young Emerging Artist Prize again returns to encourage developing creators under the age of 26 to enter, with a chance to take home $1000 in prize money.

Last year’s overall winner was Ping Carlyon, and the 2019 winner was local artist Gabrielle McDonald for her Outback Avatar sculpture.

Phil said the photo that captured local amateur artist Debbie Bennett’s face, last year, when it was announced she had won a section prize said it all.

2020 Bundaberg Art Prize
Debbie Bennett could scarcely believe it when she was announced the winner of the easel works section at the 2020 Bundaberg Art Prize. Photo Sabrina Lauriston

“It was the first competition Debbie had ever entered, and it came down to the judge of the day thought hers was worth the prize over all of the others, and that’s an inspiration for all other artists who have never entered anything,” he said.

“She was competing against some well-established artist and she still managed to win.”

Phil said the annual art prize was able to return thanks to the vibrant collective of region’s business community that had come on board to “crowdfund” the prize money.

“This year the plan is to drive people to the exhibition, and that is one of the reasons why we plan to have it run for two weeks,” he said.

“I’m in the middle of trying to find venues for two weeks, but I think if you don’t dream big, then you don’t get anywhere.

“We are also looking for volunteers to help for the two weeks.”

Key dates for Bundaberg Art Prize ’21

  • Friday, 27 August
    • Entry forms and entry fees for all sections must be received by 5pm.
  • Sunday, 5 September
    • Delivery of art work between 10am to 3pm.
  • Saturday, 11 September
    • Awards night (ticketed event).11 – 26 September
    • Art Prize open to public.
  • Sunday, 26 September
    • Collection of artwork between 1.30pm to 4.30pm.


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