ROCKHAMPTON ART GALLERY has a nationally significant regional collection of modern and contemporary Australian paintings, including works by Davida Allen, Annette Bezor, Rick Amor, Charles Blackman, Peter Booth, John Coburn, Sidney Nolan, Jeffrey Smart, Grace Cossington Smith and Fred Williams. The gallery’s exhibition program covers a comprehensive cross-section of contemporary art, balancing major touring exhibitions with curatorial projects that harness deep connections with the surrounding regional area and its associated cultural identity. In 2019, Rockhampton Art Gallery will play host to more than 40 exhibitions – a program that will comprise a mix of regional, national and international artists from both touring and curated exhibitions, including the 2019 Bayton Award.
The biennial Bayton Award is an initiative of the Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board and Rockhampton Regional Council, and hosted by Rockhampton Art Gallery. Valued at $17,000, the Bayton Award and accompanying exhibition highlight the creativity and variety of artistic endeavour in the region. It draws on artwork that has been produced over the previous 12 months, revealing the shared concern of artists living in Central Queensland and indicating the depth of creative skill across the community. The Gold Award is made possible by the philanthropy of educator Moya Gold, who organised her estate to the benefit of Rockhampton Art Gallery with the purpose of acquiring Australian paintings to the collection. Conceived in 2010 and first presented in 2012, The Gold Award tracks and reflects the changing notions and traditions of painting as a medium, exploring new concepts and challenging expected limitations of the form. As an acquisitive prize, the award is leveraged by the gallery as an opportunity to close gaps within the collection.