Forty-five finalists have been selected to go into the running for the $25,000 R & M McGivern Prize for 2019, with the winner to be announced at the Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery on Thursday 28 November.
Maroondah Mayor and Chair of Council’s Arts Advisory Committee, Councillor Mike Symon, said this year’s theme ‘Anthropocene’ attracted entries from established and emerging artists local to Maroondah and from around the country.
“Submissions to the R & M McGivern Prize this year were of outstanding quality, and we received a record 450 entries. We could have easily put on a fabulous exhibition from entries which did not make it to the finalist exhibition,” Cr Symon said.
The acquisitive prize is awarded every three years for an outstanding artwork in the medium of painting (oil, gouache, acrylic or watercolour) and is open to artists Australia-wide.
The theme for 2019 is ‘Anthropocene’ and features artists from across Australia who have created works that consider the impact of human habitation on the environment.
Shortlisted works will be exhibited across two venues in the Ringwood arts precinct – ArtSpace in Realm and Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery – as part of the R & M McGivern finalists’ exhibition from Saturday 23 November 2019 to Saturday 1 February 2020.
The most outstanding and winning artwork will be chosen from the pre-selected finalists by this year’s expert panel of judges including Charlotte Day (Director of Monash University Museum of Art), Ryan Johnston (Director of Buxton Contemporary) and Penny Teale (Bunjil Place Gallery Curator). The winner will be announced at the official opening of the finalists’ exhibition on Thursday 28 November.
Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award, valued at $1000, and the artwork that receives the most votes will be announced on Friday 31 January 2020.
The prestigious art prize was established at the bequest of the late Muriel Evelyn McGivern as a legacy to her support of the arts in Maroondah.
Cr Symon said that since its establishment in 2003, the art prize’s winning paintings had become valued additions to the Maroondah City Council Art Collection – a significant public collection comprising over 400 works of art.
“For the past 13 years, the R & M McGivern Prize has helped to build our City’s art collection into something truly outstanding, and we are grateful to the legacy and generosity of the late Muriel McGivern for her support of the arts in Maroondah in this way,” he said.
“Muriel McGivern lived her entire life in Maroondah and is fondly remembered for her colourful writings, paintings of the Australian landscape, and dedicated local history publications. Muriel is also noted as the founder of the Croydon Historical Society and Museum in 1963,” Cr Symon added.
The official opening will take place from 6pm on Thursday 28 November, at Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery, 32 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood.