Thursday, May 7, 2015

Attracting 308 entries from around the country, the 2015 Calleen Art Award and Central West Regional Art Award showcased 55 works by the 55 finalists at a gala opening event on Saturday 2 May 2015. Over 110 people attended the opening night, commencing with a reception including the announcement of the winners in the Cowra Civic Centre, before heading across to the cultural precinct to the Cowra Regional Art Gallery for a special preview of the finalists’ exhibition.

Awards Exhibition opening and String Quartet in the Gallery.

Awards opening reception Cowra Civic Centre.

Mayor of Cowra Shire Council Cr Bill West welcomed guests (including over 20 finalists) and opened the awards proceedings. The announcement of the award winners and the awards presentations was given by the 2015 Awards Judge Dr Andrew Frost, Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Art Critic for the Guardian Australia.

The winner of the 2015 acquisitive Calleen Art Award is Yvonne Boag for her large abstract landscape painting titled Pathway, Namsan Park, part of a series of works based on her visits over four seasons to Mason Park in Seoul, South Korea. Yvonne received $19,000 in prize money from the Calleen Trust and her winning painting joins the Calleen Art Collection at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.

The 2015 Central West Regional Art Award was presented to Bathurst artist Nic Mason for her portrait painting of her daughter titled Caitlin. This is a non-acquisitive award worth $2,500 in prize money and as a first time winner of the award Nic Mason will also have the opportunity of a solo exhibition at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.

Andrew Frost also awarded Highly Commended awards to Brisbane artist Anita West for her work Sandlewood Country and Sydney artist Craig Handley for his painting Kimbrik.

2015 Winner Calleen Art Award

Yvonne Boag, Pathway, Namson Park, 2015 acrylic on canvas, 130 x 162cm.

Yvonne Boag and her winning work.

Yvonne Boag and her winning work.

Judge’s comments:

“The bold abstraction of Yvonne Boag’s Pathway, Namsan Park is visually striking. It’s a painting that captures and holds your attention as the translation of the landscape into simple shapes and large areas of colour keeps your eye moving around its surface. The picture is held in balance by the purple, red and grey-white shapes while the vertical lines invigorate the composition. It was a pleasure to select it as winner of the Calleen Art Award from a strong selection of finalists.”

Highly Commended Calleen Art Award

Anita West, Sandlewood Country, 2015, acrylic on linen, 100 x 200cm. Craig Handley, Kimbrik, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 100cm.

Judge’s comments:

“Landscape painting was very well represented across both the Calleen and the Regional prizes and I wanted to note two very different paintings for a high commendation: Anita West’s Sandlewood Country is a marvellous picture with an interesting combination of techniques. Craig Handley’s Kimbriki is reminiscent of the work of Nigel Thompson, with a mordant wit in his depiction of the Australian landscape as it often actually is. Congratulations to both artists on strong works.”

Nic Mason, Andrew Frost and Yvonne Boag.

Nic Mason, Andrew Frost and Yvonne Boag.

2015 Winner Central West Regional Art Award

Nic Mason, Caitlin, 2015, oil on canvas, 100 x 75cm.

Judges comments:

“Nic Mason’s Caitlin is a quietly powerful portrait of the artist’s daughter. Mason has used a number of techniques in creating the picture that ultimately work together. Although there is the temptation for such pictures to verge on the sentimental, Mason has chosen to give her portrait a sense of realism with the rendering of the subject’s hair and the dark shadows under the eyes. Mason’s painting also came from a strong selection of work by regional artists”.

The finalists’ exhibition continues at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery until Sunday 14 June 2015.

Cowra Regional Art Gallery

77 Darling Street Cowra NSW 2794
Phone: 02 6340 2190
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am–4pm, Sunday 2pm–4pm
Admission free
Email: cowraartgallery@cowra.nsw.gov.au

Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a cultural facility of Cowra Shire Council.

Awards opening reception Cowra Civic Centre.

Awards Exhibition opening and String Quartet in the Gallery.