Newcastle Art Gallery received 476 works from artists across every state and territory in Australia for the 2021 Kilgour Prize. With the field narrowed to just 30 finalists, whose works will be judged by a panel of experts, including Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton, Campbelltown Arts Centre Head of Curatorial Adam Porter and the Head Teacher of Fine Art at Newcastle Art School, David Trout.
The Kilgour Prize awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work entered into the annual competition, which is administered by Newcastle Art Gallery and funded by a bequest from artist Jack Noel Kilgour. An additional $5,000 is awarded to the painting voted most popular by the general public.
Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the Kilgour Prize presents some of the best examples of contemporary Australian portrait and figurative painting.
‘The Kilgour Prize encourages Australian artists to pursue and push the boundaries of portraiture and figurative painting,’ Morton said.
‘This year’s selected artists present diverse interpretations of the brief, resulting in a very dynamic exhibition with works focusing on everything from experiences in lockdown through to scenes of everyday life.
‘The quality of the works will make the selection process all the more difficult, but that is a wonderful challenge to have.’
Local Carrington resident Gillian Adamson was named a finalist in her first year entering the Kilgour Prize, with Merewether-based artists Nick Fintan and John Earle on the list. New South Wales and Victorian artists make up more than half of the 30 finalists, with works also coming from Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
The 2021 Kilgour Prize finalists are:
Lisa Adams, Gillian Adamson, Matteo Bernasconi, Jackson Booth, Catherine Boreham, Julie-Ann Brown, SimonBrown, Daniel Butterworth, Emily Jayne Carroll, John Dahlsen, Archer Davies, Rachelle Dusting, John Earle, David Fairbairn, Nick Fintan, Christine Fontana, Miriam Fraser, Michael Lindeman, Nunzio Miano, Robert O’Connor, Nathan Paddison, Lori Pensini, Alice Pulvers, James R Randall, Zeljka Reljan-Music, Grace Kemarre Robinya, Paul Ryan, Jason Tolmie, Mick Turner, and Mark Tweedie.
The exhibition will be on display from 13 August until 31 October 2021; voting for the People’s Choice is open until 6 October.
The winner will be announced on Saturday 13 August, with the People’s Choice prize awarded on Tuesday 11 October.