A prize that honours the art of drawing is now calling for entries

The Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize, presented by Noosa Regional Gallery, is inviting emerging and established artists from across Australia to enter.
A prize that honours the art of drawing is now calling for entries

Michael Simms' Reverberate III, 2016 (detail). Charcoal on paper, facebook. Courtesy of Noosa Regional Gallery.

The Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize, a non-acquisitive prize established to honour and celebrate the art of drawing in Australia, is now calling for entries.

Presented by Noosa Regional Gallery, the Prize was created in memory of artist, art educator and art collector, Lyn McCrea.


In 2015 John McCrea approached Noosa Regional Gallery, located on the idyllic Noosa River in Tewantin, to establish a drawing prize that typified Lyn’s great passion for the visual arts.

‘The main purpose of the prize is to promote excellence in drawing. It was something Lyn was very passionate about, and so is John,’ Noosa Regional Gallery Director, Michael Brennan told ArtsHub.

‘John was very generous to donate enough money to hold this prize in this regional gallery, and there’s no strict criteria other than it’s a drawing prize.’

Enter the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize

This third iteration of the Drawing Prize will be Brennan’s first year narrowing down the shortlist. ‘Drawing has an important presence nationally, and globally and I’m really excited to see what comes through.

‘Artists up here often gravitate towards the compelling beauty of the landscape to inform their work. Previous finalist exhibitions have seen a significant focus on practices that engage with and celebrate nature and the environment,’ Brennan said. ‘But we are also seeing a range of subjects explored in the entries received and different ideas often stand out by contrast.’

He said when artists are approaching landscape as a subject matter in their drawing, it may not appear overtly political, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.

‘In the climate we are in there’s always that political subtext there, or a call to action – the arts are in a unique position to lead the way in garnering attention to these political matters,’ he added.

Brennan is encouraging all practitioners across Australia, whether they are an emerging or established artist, to enter the Prize.

‘There’s always a place for established practitioners in these kind of prizes, however it’s the emerging artists that can really surprise you,’ Brennan said. ‘Their work is often fresh and innovative. It’s a great opportunity for emerging artists to get their work seen in a regional gallery context,’ he said.

‘When you hear about drawing prizes you see a lot of artists who are well known for their drawing practice.

‘What I’m also interested in is the fact that drawing can be a means to a different artistic end. The life and spontaneity that is often seen in this kind of drawing can be just as thrilling as a drawing conceived of as a finished work. Both kind of approaches are valid forms for the Drawing Prize. You know the drawing you submit might not be intended as a final work itself but sometimes something really special comes out of those more impromptu and intuitive approaches to mark making,’ Brennan concluded.

Peter Breen's Priestly Bypass Leaves Serious Behind, 2017. Mixed media on ageing encyclopedia pages. Courtesy of Noosa Regional Gallery.

Important Prize Information and Dates

The winner of the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize will receive $4,000 while the People’s Choice Award (sponsored by Friends Noosa Regional Gallery) winner will receive $1,000. Both prizes are non-acquisitive. Artists requiring support in completing their online application are encouraged to call the Gallery directly.

Entries to the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize are currently open and close on 31 August 2018. Shortlisted entries will be notified 10-14 September 2018.

The winner of the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize and People’s Choice Award will be announced at the official exhibition opening at Noosa Regional Gallery on 19 October 2018.

The exhibition will run from 19 October through to 2 December 2018.

To learn more about The Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize presented by Noosa Regional Gallery visit: noosaregionalgallery.com.au or call the Gallery on (07) 5329 6145.