Aspiring Art Prize founding sponsors Pamela McBride and
John Charrington, with a painting by 14-year-old Dunedin
girl Alice Toomer. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Landscapes again feature prominently among entries for
the annual Aspiring Art Prize, which will be judged on Friday
''Landscapes are always well represented because ... if you
live in Otago and you're an artist, it's a bit hard not to
paint the landscape,'' one of the awards' founding sponsors,
John Charrington, said.
The total prize money for the awards is $11,000. The winning
artist gets $5000 and the remainder of the money is
distributed between the landscape artist, people's choice and
''It's one of the most generous art prizes in the South
Island ... for painting and drawing. I don't think there's
anything else that's near that,'' Mr Charrington said.
To enter, artists must be living in the South Island and
their submitted artworks must not have been previously
exhibited. The artwork entered is often completed in the
final days before delivery, to the point where some pieces
have turned up still wet.
''People want to see fresh stuff ... it loses its impact if
it's not fresh work.''
All the artworks will be for sale at the gala night at 6pm on
Friday, where the winners will be announced. Some of the
proceeds will go to the Holy Family School, where the event
is held each year. Pieces can also be bought during the
exhibition period: 10am to 4pm on Saturday, Sunday and
Monday, and 10am to 2pm on Tuesday.
Last year's overall award went to Dunedin artist John Toomer
for his painting of the historic Arcadia Theatre building in
His daughter Alice (14), who has donated one of her artworks
for the fundraising auction but is too young to enter the
awards, recently sold all her paintings during a joint
exhibition with her father.
This year's awards have attracted 73 entries, down on last
year's record of 104. The bulk of them have come from south
of Canterbury, with a strong representation of Central Otago
Judges for the 2013 prize are Christchurch-based Melissa
Reimer, a freelance art historian and copywriter; and Simon
Edwards, also of Christchurch, who graduated from the
University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1997 and has
been a finalist in the Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award and a
2005 people's choice winner in the Anthony Harper Award for
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