Winners announced in latest art prize exhibition

The winners of the sixth annual Local Artists Local Content Art Prize have been announced, with Nambour artist Ken Munsie awarded the $5000 Best of Show prize for his mixed-media work Messages from the Mountains.

Munsie’s arts practice is based on one simple element – rescued materials.

In his artist statement about the work, winning artist Munsie said “The vessel, made from pages of the local newspaper, is carrying in its hull messages of concern and urgency from the four great Glasshouse Mountains, but is stranded in the blackened timbers of the coastal mangroves – representing the burnt-out ideas of our climate-change-denying politicians.”

Presented by the Friends, Regional Gallery Caloundra Inc., in partnership with Caloundra Regional Gallery, the art prize offers prizes totalling $13,500 across six categories.

Other winners announced at the official exhibition opening (January 17) include Excellence Award winners:

  • Bernadine Hine for A Quiet Place Mt Coolum,
  • Nicole Voevodin-Cash for Fallen,
  • Mieke Van Den Berg for Untitled; and
  • Best Three-Dimensional prize was award to Jan Roebuck for Glasshouse Mountains.

Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the Local Artists – Local Content Art Prize exhibition was a standout part of the gallery’s annual exhibition calendar and such an important event for the Sunshine Coast arts community.

“Every year, I really look forward to this exhibition with great anticipation,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Local Artists – Local Content provides a terrific window into the studios of our local artists and my sincere thanks go to all the submitters and heartfelt congratulations go to all of this year’s winners.

“A wander through the exhibition is a great opportunity to see where our regional art is going through the scope and styles of the high quality art that is being created right here on the Sunshine Coast and, if you’re quick enough, an opportunity to purchase one of the finalist works for yourself.”

Friends, Regional Gallery Caloundra Inc. Caloundra president Marie Pigott congratulated all of the local artists who entered and thanked the local businesses for their continued support of the art prize.

“We are also grateful to this year’s judge, Phil Smith, Creative Arts Alliance Board director, for his informed perspective on this year’s finalists,” Ms Pigott said.

“It is an honour for the Friends to present this exhibition each year and I encourage everybody to visit the gallery and see for themselves the incredible talent that we have right here in our region.”

In his judges’ comments, Phil Smith said Ken Munsie’s work was a powerful reflection on solitude and despair that had been beautifully and cleverly executed.

“The artist reminds us about the vital wisdom of the land, should we choose to listen. But there is a quiet, simmering anger in this work which I read as a subversive call to arms.”

Phil also commented that “..although this work contains a universal message with a timely and prescient connection to the current and ongoing national bushfire crisis, it is intimately connected to our place.”

A $500 People’s Choice Prize is also on offer and voting slips are available at the gallery. The People’s Choice voting closes at 2pm on February 23 with the winner to be announced on February 26.

The exhibition will close on March 1.

Thank you to the valued sponsors:

  • Best of Show: $5000 prize, sponsored by Mary Henzell Investments Pty Ltd
  • Excellence Award: $2000 prize, sponsored by Mark McArdle and Judy McArdle
  • Excellence Award: $2000 prize, sponsored by Mark McArdle and Judy McArdle
  • Excellence Award: $2000 prize, sponsored by Mark McArdle Judy McArdle and Friends Regional Gallery Caloundra.
  • Best Three-Dimensional: $2000 prize, sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council
  • People’s Choice Award: $500 prize, sponsored by Geoff Lyons Solicitors Pty Ltd

See the Local Artists – Local Content finalists

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