Finalists for the biennial Basil Sellers Art Prize have been announced, with the winner to be revealed on Friday, 9 October. The works of the selected finalists will be exhibited at the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre in Moruya from Saturday, 10 October to Monday, 9 November.
The Basil Sellers Art Prize is named after Australian businessman and philanthropist Basil Sellers, who is a keen patron and art collector. Founded in 2004 for Eurobodalla artists, the competition was expanded in 2018 to include entries by artists throughout NSW and ACT, with the major prize increased to $20,000 and the winning work to be acquired by Mr Sellers.
The Basil Sellers Art Prize was funded solely by Mr Sellers until 2018, when Eurobodalla Shire Council introduced the Eurobodalla Award of $5000 for a local entry, which is acquired for council’s permanent collection.
Despite the current closure of the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre due to COVID-19, Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes said she is looking forward to the event, which is a highlight on the region’s calendar.
“This has been such a tough year for our local artists, and I’m so pleased that with the generous support of philanthropist and art lover, Mr Basil Sellers, we can help enliven the creative arts industry in the southeast,” she said.
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“Once again, the finalists’ works are world class and I can’t wait to see who takes out the major prize.”
Local Eurobodalla artists are eligible for council’s $5000 prize and the opportunity for a solo exhibition in the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre in 2021, while the People’s Choice Award offers $500 prize money.
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s coordinator of creative arts development Indira Carmichael said there are double the number of competition entries in 2020 compared to previous years.
“We are able to showcase a great variety of techniques and mediums in the finalist selection,” she said.
“It was really pleasing to see so many Eurobodalla entries and see so many locals selected as finalists. We always knew our artists could perform on a wider stage and we are very excited to see the exhibition in the gallery.”
Despite the exhibition centre’s current closure, council’s art team remains committed to the program and is putting current and upcoming exhibitions online.
“In the coming weeks, our current and upcoming exhibitions will shift to an online format with the introduction of online exhibition tours and exhibiting artist profiles on our website and social media channels,” said Ms Carmichael.
“We hope to still host exhibitions in our beautiful art space, however moving online will enable the community to get their art fix at any time from the comfort of their own home, no matter what the future brings.”
The 2020 Basil Sellers Art Prize finalists are Jane Louise Aliendi, Robert Berry, Yvonne Boag, Kristone Capistrano, Tristan Chant, Lorna Crane, Nicolette Eisdell, Mirabel Fitzgerald, Steve Fox, Anna Glynn, Victoria Hempstead, Julie Mia Holmes, Janece Huntley, Yvonne Langshaw, Raewyn Lawrence, Libby Moore, Susan Nader, James Needham, Catherine O’Donnell, Veronica O’Leary, Steven Thomas, Karyn Thompson, Mark Ward, Simon Welsh, Stuart Whitelaw and Peter Yates.