Calleen Art Award 2020

CAL2020.1 Zoe Young, On the Farm (detail)

4 October to 15 November 2020

The Calleen Art Award is always an exciting and popular exhibition and definitely a favourite cultural event in Cowra and the region.  For the first time in the history of the Calleen Art Award the winner was announced via a virtual opening event which took place on Saturday 3 October 2020. Guest speakers were Cr Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council, Jenni Fagan, The Calleen Trust and the Award Judge, Mr Steven Alderton, Director and CEO, National Art School, Sydney.

This year the Cowra Regional Art Gallery received 330 entries from around Australia and the works of 53 finalists were selected by a panel of art professionals including the Award Judge for exhibition.   

Southern highlands based artist Zoe Young has taken out this year’s $20,000 Calleen Art Award for her work On the Farm, 2020, acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 160cm.

This painting … “is a significant work, it’s a turning point in my practice where I moved from using a paint brush to incorporating a palette knife to apply paint” said Zoe Young. She did this work especially for the Calleen Art Award to express the fun she had during her childhood when she use to spend time with her cousins in Cowra.

Judges comments

“ … I see in this painting great optimism, and I see in this show so much optimism and as much as there’s a pandemic and we’ve had bushfires and we’ve had floods, this is a great example of how artists can translate the future, how we can talk about optimism for the future and bring that forward…” Steven Alderton. 

People’s Choice Award

The winner of the People’s Choice for the Calleen Art Award 2020 is Orange-based artist Jane Tonks for her painting It is written but they do not read, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 250 x 75cm.

The Calleen Art Award 2020 exhibition consisted of an amazing range of 52 outstanding paintings selected from over 300 entries received by the Gallery from around Australia.

Congratulations to Jane Tonks who receives $1,000 courtesy of the Friends of the Gallery.

Key dates

  • Entries closed: 22 July 2020, 11.59PM (AEDT)
  • Official opening (exhibition preview): Saturday, 3 October 2020
  • Winner announced: Saturday, 3 October 2020
  • Exhibition dates: 4 October–15 November 2020

2020 Finalists

Catherine Able Craig Handley Hal Pratt
Suzanne Archer Geoffrey Harvey Glen Preece
Peter Boggs Mark Hetherington Melissa Ritchie
Alexander Boynes           Megan Jones Sally Ryan
Kate Briscoe Robyn Kinsela Peta-Jayne Smith
Sally Browne Dan Kyle Hiromi Tango
Carol Christie Waratah Lahy Mary Tonki
Inel Date Nadege Lamyn Jane Tonks
Mark Dober Peter Larsen Zena Vix
Kate Dorrough Nerissa Lea Sarah Waghorn
Rachel Ellis Steve Lopes Lynne Wallis
David Fairbairn Deborah Marks Helene Weeding
David Fenoglio Nic Mason Barbara Weir
Keith Fyfe Kiata Mason Polly Wells
Joanna Gambotto Kerry McCarthy Madawyn           Simone Wise
Samir Hamaiel Helen McCarthy Tylmuty Lisa Woolfe
Ildiko Hammond Amanda Penrose Hart Zoe Young
Melitta Perry


Image: Zoe Young, On the Farm, 2020, acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 160cm. Winner Calleen Art Award 2020.