2016 Calleen Art Award

Friday, May 6, 2016

This year the Cowra Regional Art Gallery received 272 entries into the 2016 Calleen Art Award from across Australia and 47 works were selected by a panel of art professionals as finalists.

The official exhibition opening and announcement of the 2016 Calleen Art Award winner took place on Saturday 30 April 2016, attracting over 100 visitors, including many of the finalists. Cr Bill West, Mayor of Cowra Shire Council, welcomed guests and opened the exhibition and the announcement of the winner by the Award Judge John Cheeseman, Manager Cultural Services and Gallery Director, Mosman Art Gallery.

2016 Calleen Art Award Winner

Tania and

Tania Mason and her winning work Irregular Plasma

The winner of the 2016 acquisitive Calleen Art Award is Tania Mason from Sydney, for her work Irregular Plasma, 2016, gouache and acrylic on canvas, 102 x 84cm. Irregular Plasma explores concepts linked to the neurological patterns within the human brain and natures complex geometric shapes such as vines, plants, trees and leaves. Tania 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.

Judge’s comments

Tania Mason Irregular Plasma: “In the first passing of works I did not think this was in the running. But then I looked at all works in detail and the more I looked the more I was drawn to this work. This is a painting exploring the mind and pioneering new ways of expressing neural connections – organic complex geometric shapes and connections, neurological patterns and pathway formations. What I especially admired was that this was a beautiful work and, on balance, a positive and optimistic painting with a sense of wonder. The artist herself was driven to explore the neural condition of her son who has faced behavioural challenges – a very personal work and a brave work to share.” – John Cheeseman

Highly Commended awards

The Awards Judge announced two Highly Commended awards to: Ivan Goodacre for The Dam, 2016, oil on canvas, 152 x 198cm and Hal Pratt, for Hidden Gorge NT, 2015, watercolour, 36 x 36cm.

Hal Pratt, for Hidden Gorge NT

Hal Pratt, Hidden Gorge NT.

Judge’s comments

Hal Pratt: Hidden Gorge NT. “This work of great beauty shines like a beacon within the gallery. It re-addresses our collective memory of Namatjira works and the images of places that have been embedded into our minds – this is a reimagining of this mythic Australian landscape. A striking work skilfully composed in watercolour”. – John Cheeseman

Ivan Goodacre: The Dam. “A very impressive work, almost abstract in form, with an upside-down perspective that disorients, challenges and excites the viewer. An evocation of the landscape and place, it is also an added bonus that the subject matter of the work, Wyangala Dam, is so relevant and connected to the Cowra district and community”. – John Cheeseman

Commended awards

The Awards Judge also announced two Commended awards to: Peter Lankas, for Helen Street, 2015, oil, pigment, calcium carbonate, eggwhite, oil emulsion on board, 30 x 40cm and Rachel Milne, for Potters Studio, 2015, oil on board, 81 x 122cm.

Judge’s comments

Peter Lankas: Helen Street. “This work was executed from memory and takes us on a contemporary odyssey through the suburbs. This is a painter with a strong love of the medium, to the point he makes his own paint, and I enjoyed the strong and direct application and brushstrokes. The work is a contemporary take on landscape, combining the darkness of Drysdale with a touch of Quilty, all done in miniature form”. – John Cheeseman.



2016 Calleen Art Award winner, Tania Mason receiving her prize money from Trustees Jeni and Peter Fagan. Awards judge John Cheeseman (far left) and the artists son Arthur bottom right.

2016 Calleen Art Award winner, Tania Mason receiving her prize money from Trustees Jeni and Peter Fagan. Awards judge John Cheeseman (far left) and the artists son Arthur bottom right.

2016 Calleen Art Award Gala Opening Saturday 30 April 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The announcement of the 2016 Calleen Art Award winner will take place at a special opening at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 30 April from 6.30pm. Guest speakers are Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council and the Awards Judge John Cheeseman, Director, Mosman Art Gallery.

The Calleen Art Award is an acquisitive painting prize established in 1977 by Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM. It has developed into a significant art award worth $19,000 in 2016 made possible by the generous support of the Calleen Trust. There is also a People’s Choice Award of $500 supported by the Friends of the Gallery.

The Calleen Art Award encourages originality, creativity and excellence in the visual arts. This year 272 entries were received from across Australia and 47 artworks consisting of an engaging range of themes and subjects have been selected as finalists by a panel of art professionals.

The awards opening night is a significant cultural highlight in the region and promises to be a memorable and enjoyable arts experience. The exhibition continues to Sunday 19 June 2016

Entry to the Gala Opening, is $10pp ($8pp Friends of the Gallery) with a chance to win the lucky door prize. Complimentary food and wine will be served.

For more information please call the Gallery on 6340 2190.

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

After Dark Cowra: Saturday Night, April 9

Thursday, April 7, 2016

This Saturday night April 9 for one night only twenty renowned Australian photographers and several photomedia creatives from the region will have their work unveiled at AFTERDARK COWRA. This ‘must-see’ photomedia slideshow exhibition presented by the Cowra Regional Art Gallery commences at 7pm at the Cowra Civic Centre.

Those present on the night can expect a unique and captivating program of contemporary photography images that engage with the latest approaches to new media photography as well as signature images by many of Australia’s world renowned photomedia artists.
As guest curator Hamish Ta-mé said “it’s a slideshow format where each artist shows 20x images for 20x seconds a piece. This format is a great way for audiences to engage with the diversity of artists and their practice. The focus (pardon the pun), is on photography and the way that it is being used as a tool for exploring ideas, documenting social change and as a medium for self expression in the instagram world.”

Local photographers William Bennett, Shani Nottingham and Patricia Lovechek will present their work, together with photomedia artist Sally McInerney, well known for her landscape photography and photo dairies; Jon Lewis renowned for depicting snapshots of everyday life with warmth and humanity; Gordon Undy whose meditative studies of the Australian landscape have been exhibited widely in Australia and overseas; Hamish Ta-mé who has a background in fashion, commercial, street photography and portraiture plus running art events and curating; Marco Blok a seasoned documentary photographer of street photography and urban life; and Bob Kersey who after working for three decades in film production re-emerged as a photographer in the 1990s. During this period he has produced an archive of photographs covering many genres.

New York based Jason Kibbler, the towns most successful fashion photographer has sent 20 fashion images to be presented on his behalf. Also, Nicole Welch from Bathurst best known for her elegant images of the Australian landscape shaped and informed by historical ideologies has sent work on her behalf. The other photographers whose work will be presented by the curator in their absence are local photographer John Daly, and leading Australian photographers Zelko Nedic, Kate Baker, Tamara Dean David Knight, Anne Lynam Mark Kelly Stephen Dupont, Toby Burrows, Rita Zimmermann, Garth Knight, Jesse Willesee, and Murray Fredericks.

AFTERDARK COWRA offers a great opportunity for all photo enthusiasts and those who would like to know a little more about photography in general. Don’t miss out on your chance to see some great works on display in a way never seen before in Cowra.

Age restrictions apply – not suitable for children under 15 years and over 15 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.


A slideshow event showcasing the best of Australian and local photography.
Saturday April 9th 6.30pm for a 7pm start through to 9.30pm
Cowra Civic Centre – Darling Street Cowra 2794
Contact Hamish Ta-mé 0428294569 for more info or images.
Email: hamishshooter@gmail.com

Cowra Regional Art Gallery
77 Darling Street, Cowra NSW 2794
Tel: (02) 6340 2192 M: 0429 072 282
Hours: Tues–Sat, 10am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 4pm

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

2016 Calleen Art Award finalists announced

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The finalists for the 2016 Calleen Art Award have been announced, and can be viewed at: https://cowraartgallery.com.au/awards/2016-calleen-art-award-finalists

Exhibition openings – Wild; The Wilkins Collection

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Commencing at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery this Saturday 19 March are two new exhibitions that explore shared interests in the traditions of Australian landscape, and figurative art. On display will be a special survey of artworks selected from The Wilkins Collection is managed by the Arts Unit, Department of Education, and new paintings by Central West based artist Nic Mason titled WILD.

  • The Wilkins Collection (named in honour of William Wilkins (1827–1892) the first permanent head of the Department of Education in New South Wales) was established in 1974 and has over 900 artworks. The collection continues to grow through the acquisition purchase of 10 new bodies of work. Acquisition works are selected from student submissions in the annual ARTEXPRESS Exhibition Program, showcased throughout NSW Metropolitan and Regional Galleries.This includes paintings sculpture, drawings, graphic design, textiles and photomedia.
    This rare presentation of works from The Wilkins Collection consists of works selected from acquisitions made during the past 20 years. Highlights include several multi-paneled landscape paintings and a collection of fascinating figurative works. This exhibition is a collaborative project by the Cowra Regional Art Gallery with the Arts Unit, Specialist Programs, Department of Education.
  • WILD is the first substantial body of work shown by Nic Mason since she began painting in oils only five years ago. This solo exhibition references Masons’ long background in conservation management and her ongoing relationship with the Australian landscape, specifically the bush and big skies of the Blue Mountains and west of the Great Dividing Range. This environmental focus by Mason who lives in Napolean Reef near Bathurst is mixed with stories from her domestic and family life. The two combined echo Mason’s disquiet about the impact of introduced pest animals on threatened Australian fauna and convey her immersion in living and bringing up a family within this landscape. Narrative and symbolism are integral to this work, where Mason plays with the rendering of animal masks and her recurring red bag. The exhibition also includes two large portraits of work colleagues, Sharon Riley and Dave Noble, whom she has both known for over 10 years. She painted Riley and Noble as they have a deep connection and passion for the land.
    Riley is a local Wiradjuri woman who is passionate about her culture and her obligations to care for her country – land, water and stories of Country. Noble has climbed through hundreds of canyons in the Blue Mountains that very few people have ventured into. In 1994 whilst walking remotely in Wollemi National Park he stumbled across a stand of unusual trees. The sample he took started a quest of discovery and the botanical find of the century. It is the story of the Wollemi Pine. This exhibition opportunity follows Nic Mason’s win of the Central West Regional Art Award in 2015.

Both exhibitions open on Saturday 19 March commencing at 2 pm. The Wilkins Collection: A Survey exhibition will be opened by Kimberley Oates, ARTEXPRESS Project Officer, The Arts Unit, NSW Department of Education. Nic Mason’s WILD exhibition will be opened by Tracey Callinan, Executive Officer, Arts OutWest.


Brian Langer Gallery Director
Cowra Regional Art Gallery
77 Darling Street, Cowra, NSW, 2794
Tel: (02) 6340 2192 M: 0429 072 282
Hours: Tues – Sat, 10am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 4pm. Admission free