Gippsland Art Gallery is the exclusive Victorian tour venue for the Archibald Prize 2021 Regional Tour, Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art award. Awarded to the best portrait painting, it’s a who’s who of Australian culture―from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists. This year marks 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award. For the first time, there is gender parity for artists selected as Archibald finalists: 26 women and 26 men. Female sitters outnumber the men (although that is not a first). It is also the first time there have been more works by women than men in the combined Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes exhibition.
In the centenary year of the Archibald, a portrait by Peter Wegner of 100-year-old artist Guy Warren (himself an Archibald winner in 1985) took out the prize. This year’s ‘Packing Room Prize’ was taken out by Kathrin Longhurst for her portrait of singer Kate Ceberano. The 2021 Archibald Prize will spread through three gallery spaces while at Gippsland. Complementing the exhibition will be a range of special events and activities unique to Gippsland, including regular weekend talks by the finalists and opportunities to create your own masterpiece.