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Prestigious art award returns

Brooke Boland

The regional City of Greater Geraldton is becoming an arts and cultural hotspot with the significant Mid West Art Prize, now open for entries.
Prestigious art award returns

Detail of Consequences by Vicki Hardy was awarded the Mid West Highly Commended award in 2015. Image: Supplied.

‘Start preparing your pieces’ – that’s the message Mayor Shane Van Styn, City of Greater Geraldton, is sending to artists.

The Mid West Art Prize returns in 2017 with a total prize pool of $30,000 across a number of award categories.

‘In the past the Art Prize has attracted hundreds of amazing artists who call Western Australia home and we expect the competition and quality in 2017 to be as high as ever,’ said Mayor Van Styn.


‘It has become a very well respected exhibition and we are now calling out to artists in WA to start preparing their pieces.’

View call out here

The 2017 Mid West Art Prize awards and prizes will include:

  • City of Greater Geraldton Overall Award for Excellence $20,000
  • Rio Tinto Midwest Aboriginal Art Award $5,000
  • REDFM Youth Award $3,500
  • Local Member (MLA) People’s Choice Award $1,500

The Prize has remained a flagship event for the Midwest since its launch in 2011 and reflects the region’s commitment to the visual arts. It was not held in 2014, however, due to the refurbishment of the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery. But in 2015 it was back with the same high calibre of contemporary works.

Everything is Nothing by Paul Kaptein. Image supplied.

Paul Kaptein received the 2015 Overall Award for Excellence for his portrait of a FIFO miner Everything is Nothing, which the judges lauded as a technically impressive bust and an embodiment of the profession.

‘The open cut mine is excavated from his flesh, which is drilled and marked with the sites where he may have worked. He is a man shaped and constructed from his own labours; his eyes are closed as he contemplates his existence,’ they said.

Another stand out work in 2015 was the abstract work On my Radar by Penny Coss, which received The Minerals and Metals Group Overall Highly Recommended Award.

‘The Prize is a really great opportunity to showcase the art that is being created in WA,’ said Mayor Van Styn.

‘It is always such a high calibre each year. It is great to see what is happening in WA in the art scene in general, from the north in Kununurra to Margaret River in the south. It offers such a broad scope of what is happening in the arts.’

On my Radar by Penny Coss. Image supplied.

The Prize attracts quality young artists who seek to take advantage of the Prizes prestigious and competitive reputation. In 2015 the Youth category was awarded to Kieran Ingram, who is becoming a prominent figure on the art scene.

Prior to winning the award, Ingram has had solo exhibitions in Perth and has exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous group shows. He attended art school in Florence, and now lives and works in the UK.

The Old Lie by Kieran Ingram.

About the 2017 Prize

The Mid West Art Prize is for established and up and coming artists alike. The award is open to all forms of art, with no limitations on size or material.

The call out for artists to submit artworks is currently open and closes on May 1. In 2015, the Gallery received a total of 400 artworks and the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery expects another stellar year for entries in 2017.

‘It’s one of the biggest art awards in terms of prize value in Western Australia so it is well received,’ he said.

While the Prize was previously non-acquisitive that has changed this year. From 2017 the Overall Award for Excellence will become acquisitive, as will the Rio Tinto Midwest Aboriginal Art Award and the REDFM Youth Award. The Local Member People’s Choice Award will remain non-acquisitive.

Artists who wish to submit an artwork must fill out an entry form which will be on the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery website from mid-January 2017. Entry fee is $40. All entries close on 1 May with the exhibition commencing 16 June 2017. 

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.