45th Muswellbrook Art Prize

Vipoo Srivilasa, The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly (self portrait)
Vipoo Srivilasa, The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly (self portrait). Ceramics Prize 2016, white and black porcelain 26 x 19 x 10cm
Vipoo Srivilasa, The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly (self portrait). Ceramics Prize 2016

Exhibition Opening & Award Presentation: Saturday 10 March 2018

Exhibition: 11 March – 6 May 2018

The Muswellbrook Art Prize began in 1958 as the Festival of the Valley Art Prize with an objective “to foster the interest in and understanding of art in the Upper Hunter Valley area and to play a part, however modest, in the promotion of art and the encouragement of artists generally, throughout Australia”.

The Muswellbrook Art Prize has gone through numerous changes over its history, the most significant being the addition of a Works on Paper Prize in 1965 and a Ceramics Prize firstly from 1971 to 1976 and then permanently from 1987.

Finalists of the Muswellbrook Art Prize now vie for a total of $71,000 prize money across four prize categories:

  • Painting $50,000 acquisitive
  • Works on Paper $10,000 acquisitive
  • Ceramics $10,000 acquisitive
  • People’s Choice $1,000 non-acquisitive

Astute adjudication of the Muswellbrook Art Prize over the years has yielded an excellent collection of modern and contemporary Australian paintings, works on paper and ceramics from the Post War period of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, with the winning acquisitive works forming the nucleus of what is now known as the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection. Previous winners of the Muswellbrook Art Prize include such key figures as David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Richard Larter and Fred Williams.The Upper Hunter Region is also well represented with a number of local artists being successful in winning the Prize including Peter Atkins, Dale Frank, Lyn Nash and Hanna Kay.

Throughout the history of the Muswellbrook Art Prize there has been ongoing financial commitment by local businesses and industry, ensuring the development of the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection. Along with Muswellbrook Shire Council, who since 1958 has acted as sponsor and administrator of the Prize, Bengalla Mining Company Pty Limited has generously sponsored the Prize for the past 20 plus years.

Bengalla
Muswellbrook Shire Council

Coming in Waves - Sue Beiboer

Sue Beiboer

Opening: 6pm Friday 5 January 2018
Exhibition: 6 January to 4 March 2018

Coming in Waves is a body of work centred on the sea and the debris, both natural and man-made, left behind by the tide. The images depict the intricate details and patterns found in the shells, weeds and other sea life on the shoreline. These objects may not be considered in themselves beautiful, however when removed from their normally distracting context and reimagined through drawings and etchings a new aesthetic is achieved. The detailed imagery dissolves away into a fine line work of pixelations. Man-made objects appear comfortably within the composition, camouflaged amongst naturally occurring ocean debris. The pixelated imagery references the slow return of each object to its original components or elements thus reflecting on the transience of life.

Etched imagery takes the sea motif in a new direction, simplifying forms and creating a graphic representation of the subject. These works explore the dynamic possibilities of line work and colour, amplifying the beauty of the subject through repetition.

This body of work aims to draw the viewer closer, the intrigue of the details enabling the viewer to see and appreciate the beauty of these forms. The subtle inclusion of unnatural objects, shifts the focus, disrupting the harmony of the imagery. Whilst the sea life will decompose and benefit the ecosystem, man-made synthetic objects will not.

Image: Sue Beiboer

Reflecting on Nature: Birdlife studies in oil and through the lens - Bernice, Mark and Mitchell O'Mahoney

Mitchell O’Mahoney, Red Backed Fairy Wrens 2017, oil on silver.

Opening: 6pm Friday 5 January 2018
Exhibition: 6 January to 4 March 2018

Mitchell O’Mahoney, Hunter Valley portrait artist and drawing teacher, has put aside his portrait subjects and teamed up with wildlife photographers Bernice and Mark O’Mahoney for this collection of parallel works – Reflecting on Nature.

Bernice and Mark O’Mahoney began photography as a pursuit to complement their interest in Australian bush, its wildlife and native plants. Their objective is to observe, photograph and identify as much as possible of the unique flora and fauna this great country has to offer. The photographs included in this exhibition are a selection from their Australian birdlife series.

Drawing on the Australian birdlife captured by Bernice and Mark, Mitchell’s own unique portrayal of Australian birdlife, executed in oil on silver, features a role-reversal of sorts in which the viewer affects the subject by contributing one’s own colour and movement for a changeable visual experience.

Image: Mitchell O’Mahoney, Red Backed Fairy Wrens 2017, oil on silver.

Red Cross Christmas Trees and Wreaths

Red Cross Christmas Trees and Wreaths 2013.

28 November - 15 December 2017

Presentation of Prizes 6.00pm Friday 15 December 2017

The ever popular biennial community Christmas event, the Muswellbrook Red Cross Christmas Trees and Wreaths are on display again in 2017 at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre. Visitors to the display will be able to immerse themselves in the festive spirit with splendid, inspired, unique and creative Christmas Trees and Wreaths dotted throughout the Arts Centre.

Visitors to the Muswellbrook Red Cross Christmas Trees and Wreaths are invited to cast their vote in deciding the winning display along with supporting the Red Cross’s fund raising efforts. Voting is $2 per adult and $1 for children and concession holders and is open to the public for the duration of the display.

Voting is open to the public for the duration of the display. While the Sponsor’s Prize is selected by a Bengalla Mining Company representative, all other prizes are decided by people’s choice.

On display from 28 November - 15 December 2017. Official Closing and Presentation of Prizes 6.00pm Friday 15 December 2017 with refreshments courtesy of the Muswellbrook Red Cross.

  

Picture: Red Cross Christmas Trees and Wreaths 2013.

Stencil Art Prize 2017

Justinas Zozo (Lithuania), King Fisher (detail), aerosol on canvas.

06 January - 04 March 2018

Opening Night 6pm Friday 5 January 2018

Showcasing 67 stencil artists from 25 countries, the Stencil Art Prize is the world’s largest stencil event. Influenced by the ephemeral nature of street art, these stencil-based works blend pop-culture imagery and global politics to highlight the growing concerns of a socially engaged generation of artists.

This exhibition is a unique collection of works from Australia, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Thailand, United Kingdom and USA.

Highlights of the exhibition include the Austrian duo Jana & JS with their intimate style of portraiture; David Soukup (USA) and his internationally acclaimed Chicago fire escapes; Iranian artist Afshid with his portrayal of refugees, migration and heritage; Mue Bon’s (Thailand) playful take on capitalism and Australia’s own Kirpy who has layered dozens of street posters as a base upon which to create a streetscape.

The stencil artists in this exhibition encompass nearly every stencil making method on the planet including hand drawn and hand cut stencils, computer generated stencil layers, silk screen stencils and screen printing processes, collage and mixed media stencils, spray paint techniques, water colour, ink and more.

Artworks and print editions of the stencils are for sale at www.stencilartprize.com

Stencil Art Prize logo