Aaron Piccini (far right) with schoolmates from Saint Carthage’s School admire Beatus by Michelle Dawson, one of the works on display in The Wilson visual art prize at the Trinity Catholic College.
Aaron Piccini (far right) with schoolmates from Saint Carthage’s School admire Beatus by Michelle Dawson, one of the works on display in The Wilson visual art prize at the Trinity Catholic College. Jacklyn Wagner

Art winner known tonight

IT IS crunch time for finalists in the inaugural Wilson Visual Arts Award, with the winner being announced at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore tonight.

More than 300 artists from all over Australia entered works in the non-acquisitive art prize and WVAA chairperson Louise Young said it was a great first-year effort.

"We were surprised at the number of entries but at the same time we kind of planned for it," she said.

"We had Katka Adams on the committee who is an artist and was very good at advising us where to advertise and how to get artists involved.

"Art of a national and international level has been entered."

A judging panel whittled down the initial 324 entries to 83 finalists, a third of whom were from the Northern Rivers.

However, Ms Young said Northern Rivers entrants received no advantage just for being local.

"It was all about quality and the best art, so everyartist in the finals deserves to be there," she said.

The finalists now have a shot at winning $10,000 as first prize. Contemporary Australian Art curator Peter McKay will judge the winner tonight, with the announcement at Trinity Catholic College at 6.30pm.

Artists will also have the chance to win $1500 through a people's choice award donated by Ms Adams.

"She just really believes in the worth of having a really big art prize in the area," Ms Young said.

"We have the highest population of artists outside metropolitan areas living on the Northern Rivers, so that's a good reason to have great art shows in the area and to celebrate it."

The first-prize winner will be announced in The Northern Star tomorrow.



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