EUROBODALLA Shire Council announced Frances Luke’s work, Mossy Point Headland 1, as the 2012 winner of the $15,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize.
The announcement was made at 6pm last Thursday at the gala opening of the Basil Sellers Art Prize Exhibition at the Mechanics Institute, with Ms Luke’s mixed media work selected from the 33 finalists in the show.
The prestigious prize – judged by Dr Sarah Engledown of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Richard Whiteley, the Head of Glass at the ANU School of Art and a former Visual Arts Board member of the Australia Council for the Arts, and Helen Musa, freelance writer/critic and previous arts editor of The Canberra Times – was announced by its patron Basil Sellers.
The judges agreed that Frances Luke’s work was selected for its balance between structure and the abstract and its beautiful interpretation of the coastal and landscape. “We are sure that Mr Sellers will be delighted to be able to add it to his art collection,” they said.
With the standard of entries and the level of competition very high this year, each judge took the selection process seriously, telling the crowd they did not have a preference for genre which was demonstrated by their selection of Luke’s oils and modelling paste on canvas work.
The prize announcement and gala opening event was celebrated with music by Merinda Hurren and some spectacular Pirates from Penzance, courtesy of the Bay Theatre Players. Eurobodalla Shire mayor, Lindsay Brown, said it was a colourful entree to the Moruya Jazz Festival that will be held later this month.
Mayor Brown added that the Basil Sellers Art Prize Exhibition was also an opportunity for the community to vote for their favourite artist’s work.
“Residents can vote and put the artists in the running to win the $1,000 People’s Choice award and the second prize of $500 sponsored by South East Arts which will both be announced after the exhibition closes,” Clr Brown said.
The Basil Sellers Art Prize exhibition is open daily at the Mechanics Institute in Page Street, Moruya from October 5 – 17. The winning artist’s floor talk will be held this Sunday at 1pm.