Michael Reid Gallery launches new art prize

The Sydney gallery’s new National Emerging Art Prize aims to connect collectors with Australia’s most promising emerging artists.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Sydney’s Michael Reid Gallery has announced the launch of its National Emerging Art Prize 2021, aiming to connect collectors with the most promising emerging visual and ceramic artists in Australia.

“While we are aware that many prizes exist in the art landscape, many are simply one-time cash payments,” said Amber Creswell Bell, Program Director at Michael Reid Northern Beaches and Curator of the National Emerging Art Prize 2021. “Having worked with and championed the work of emerging artists for many years as a curator and as a writer, what I know emerging artists dearly crave is a pathway to sustain a lifelong career in the arts.”

Major sponsor Morgans Financial Limited has donated acquisitive cash prizes of $20,000 for the overall winner of in the Emerging Painters category, and $5,000 in the Emerging Ceramicists category. An additional $2,000 non-acquisitive cash prize has been donated by the sponsor for an Award of Excellence in the painting category.

Both overall winners will be invited to present solo exhibitions at Michael Reid Northern Beaches in the following year, with additional financial support. The winning painter will also receive a subscription to Art Collector magazine.

One unique aspect of both prize packages is the inclusion of ongoing mentoring with Michael Reid, gallery director Toby Meagher and Creswell Bell, with a view to providing a path to a long-term art career and representation.

Creswell Bell said: “We will play host to a solo exhibition for the overall winning painter and ceramicist in 2022, with many of the costly inputs such as framing, art transport and photography taken care of, which should really help artists put their best foot forward for that exhibition without the burden of cost.”

Creswell Bell will be joined on the selection panel by Katrina Strickland (Editor, Good Weekend), Lorraine Tarabay (Chair of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art & Collector), John Honeywill (artist), David Wenham (collector and actor), Nicole Roberts (collector and businesswoman, Morgans Financial Limited), and Vicki Grima OAM (Executive Officer, The Australian Ceramics Association and Editor, The Journal of Australian Ceramics).

Collectors can look forward to an exhibition at Michael Reid Northern Beaches in November, featuring the works of up to 25 finalists each from the Painting and Ceramics categories, all available for sale to the public.

This article was originally published 15 August 2021.

Image: An exhibition by Brett Weir at Michael Reid Gallery in 2019. Photo: Jodie Barker.

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