These awards are a signifi cant event in the NSW Art Calendar. They attract artists with established reputations as well as new exhibitors and aim to foster originality and creativity. The Calleen Art Award, established in 1977 by Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM, has developed into a high calibre national acquisitive award for painting, with a prize of $17,000 provided by the Calleen Trust. The Central West Regional Art Award is a non-acquisitive award for painting and drawing worth $2,000, open to artists living and working in 16 local government areas in the region. There is also a People’s Choice Award of $500 supported by the Friends of the Gallery.
Attracting 229 entries from across the country, the 2013 Calleen Art Award and Central West Regional Art Award showcased the 72 finalists at a gala opening event on Saturday 4 May 2013. Over 110 people attended the reception, hosted in the Cowra Civic Centre, before heading over to a special preview of the exhibition at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.
Judge Anne Flanagan, Deputy Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales announced the winners, praising the Gallery for the excellent presentation of the works and the wonderful panorama of Australian art in the exhibition.
The winner of the 2014 Calleen Art Award is Gladdy Kemarre, from Utopia in the Northern Territory for her painting Anwekety (Bush Plum). This is an acquisitive award with $17,000 prize money for 2013. The winning piece joins the Calleen Art Collection at the Gallery, comprised of winning works from the Award’s 37 year history.
Highly Commended was awarded to Bathurst based artist Rachel Ellis for Orange Wall, Bathurst, and to Newcastle artist Lesley Tilley for Static electricity posing as a coral fern.
The 2014 Central West Regional Art Award was presented to Peelwood artist Jo Bertini for Wongitta Wadi Gold (Simpson Desert). This is a non-acquisitive award with $2,000 prize money for 2014. As a first time winner of the award Jo Bertini also has the opportunity of a solo exhibition at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.
Cowra artist Anne Stanley was awarded High Commended for her work To the Edge, as was Blackheath based artist Robert Malherbe for River II.
2013 Winner Calleen Art Award
Gladdy Kemarre, Anwekety (Bush Plum) 2012, acrylic on linen, 183 x 121cm
“This painting is dazzling. The work vibrates with a hundreds of luminous orange and red dots that seem to dance before your eyes. This shimmering surface composed of fine, brightly
coloured dots floats across a deep field and draws you in just as the landscape does. Gladdy has created a mesmerising work that speaks about her country and the seasonal colours of the bush plum that so dominate that landscape.”
2013 Winner Central West Regional Art Award
Jo Bertini, Wongitta Wadi Gold (Simpson Desert) 2012, oil on canvas, 130 x 130cm
“Jo’s large, square painting has a magic to it. The bright blue sky is like a ribbon that holds the animated brush strokes in place. The brush strokes move quickly across the canvas and are filled with all the warmth of the desert landscape – pink, ochre, yellow, red and a tantalizing orange that fills the foreground. The painting is carried out with confident speed and yet, as in the tradition of the oil sketch, has a keen descriptive quality.”