$50,000 art award entries open


Josh Muir – Telstra Youth award winner 2015

All local indigenous artists are being urged to enter their work into this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA).

There are six different categories for different styles of art each with $5,000 prizemoney for the winner.

The major art award, however, has a grand prize of $50,000.

It’s being run through the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory again this year and Museum Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture Luke Scholes says the award has been a stepping stone for artists.

“This award is attended by vast numbers of people every year and a number of those people are curators from state and regional galleries,” Mr Scholes says.

“It really has kicked off the careers of several artists who, at the time of the award, were perhaps considered at an early stage or an emerging career artist.”

The award is also attended by prestigious private collectors and institutions.

Mr Scholes says it’s an opportunity for developing artists to put their name in front of the art world.

“It really provides artists with the opportunity to have their work hung at a major institution surrounded by high quality works by artists from all across the country,” he says.

“The overall aim of the award is to really present a selection of high quality works that represent the diverse practice of indigenous art across Australia.”

The winner of last year’s youth award, young Victorian artist Josh Muir, had his winning painting reproduced online and in major print publications.

Last week had a piece projected on the National Gallery of Victoria walls.

A vast array of styles and mediums are encouraged to be entered.

“There’s no restrictions on the type of art that can be entered into the award, we have everything from digital photography to acrylic artworks to 3D sculptural works,” Mr Scholes says.

Antara (Maku Dreaming)

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani – Telstra General Painting award winner 2015

Telstra have been the leading sponsor of the event for 25 years, providing the prize money and a huge corporate backing for the award.

Mr Scholes says Telstra’s commitment to the award is a deep and genuine one.

“It would have to be one of the most successful and endearing relationships between a corporate partner and a major state controlled institution,” he says.

“It’s been a wonderful union that’s been a mutually beneficial partnership that continues to see the award grow and diversify.”

Any aspiring local artists looking to further their art careers need to register here.

Hopefully this year Charters Towers is on to a winner.