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Zoe Young
Zoe Young, On the Farm, 2020, acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 160cm. Winner Calleen Art Award 2020.

The Calleen Art Award is always an exciting and popular exhibition and definitely a favourite cultural event in Cowra and the region.  For the first time in the history of the Calleen Art Award the winner was announced via a virtual opening event which took place on Saturday 3 October 2020. Guest speakers were Cr Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council, Jenni Fagan, The Calleen Trust and the Award Judge, Mr Steven Alderton, Director and CEO, National Art School, Sydney.

This year the Cowra Regional Art Gallery received 330 entries from around Australia and the works of 53 finalists were selected by a panel of art professionals including the Award Judge for exhibition.   

Southern highlands based artist Zoe Young has taken out this year’s $20,000 Calleen Art Award for her work On the Farm, 2020, acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 160cm.

This painting … “is a significant work, it’s a turning point in my practice where I moved from using a paint brush to incorporating a palette knife to apply paint” said Zoe Young. She did this work especially for the Calleen Art Award to express the fun she had during her childhood when she use to spend time with her cousins in Cowra.

Judges comments

“ … I see in this painting great optimism, and I see in this show so much optimism and as much as there’s a pandemic and we’ve had bushfires and we’ve had floods, this is a great example of how artists can translate the future, how we can talk about optimism for the future and bring that forward…” Steven Alderton.

Calleen Art Award 2020 | Download PDF

People’s Choice Award


The winner of the People’s Choice for the Calleen Art Award 2020 is Orange-based artist Jane Tonks for her painting It is written but they do not read, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 250 x 75cm.

The Calleen Art Award 2020 exhibition consisted of an amazing range of 52 outstanding paintings selected from over 300 entries received by the Gallery from around Australia.

Congratulations to Jane Tonks who receives $1,000 courtesy of the Friends of the Gallery.

Key dates

  • Entries closed: 22 July 2020, 11.59PM (AEDT)
  • Official opening (exhibition preview): Saturday, 3 October 2020
  • Winner announced: Saturday, 3 October 2020
  • Exhibition dates: 4 October–15 November 2020

2020 Finalists

Catherine Abel

Suzanne Archer

Peter Boggs

Alexander Boynes

Kate Briscoe

Sally Browne

Carol Christie

Inel Date

Mark Dober

Kate Dorrough

Rachel Ellis

David Fairbairn

David Fenoglio

Keith Fyfe

Joanna Gambotto

Samir Hamaiel

Ildiko Hammond

Craig Handley

Geoffrey Harvey

Mark Hetherington

Megan Jones

Robyn Kinsela

Dan Kyle

Waratah Lahy

Nadège Lamy

Peter Larsen

Nerissa Lea

Steve Lopes

Deborah Marks

Nic Mason

Kiata Mason

Kerry McCarthy Madawyn

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

Amanda Penrose Hart

Melitta Perry

Hal Pratt

Glen Preece

Melissa Ritchie

Sally Ryan

Peta-Jayne Smith

Hiromi Tango

Mary Tonkin

Jane Tonks

Zena Vix

Sarah Waghorn

Lynne Wallis

Helene Weeding

Barbara Weir

Polly Wells

Simone Wise

Lisa Woolfe

Zoe Young