A Wollongong artist has eaten up the 2019 Basil Sellers Art Prize with her painting of children having breakfast.
Anh Nguyen’s Jamboree Morning was named the winner of the $20,000 prize on Friday, February 22, at the opening of the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre in Moruya.
Ms Nguyen’s acrylic-on-canvas piece won from 28 finalists and will join others in Mr Sellers’ extensive art collection.
The Eurobodalla prize landed closer to home: Moruya artist Stephanie McClory proved not all days are tough, when she won the $5,000 prize with her acrylic on canvas piece, Some days are Rough.
Eurobodalla Shire Council sponsored the prize and will acquire it for its collection.
The People's Choice award remains up for grabs, with $500 at stake.
More than 600 thronged the new centre for the announcement of the major prize, which for the first time was offered statewide and to ACT artists.
The exhibition continues at the new centre - AKA "the Bas" from Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm until Sunday March 17.
Organisers said the contest drew a record number of entries - more than 150.
Judges were curator Deborah Clark, the Australian Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection manager Sharni Jones and the council’s creative arts development coordinator and an artist in her own right, Indira Carmichael.
“It was a pleasure to be involved. Judging a prize such as this is always difficult, especially in an exhibition as varied as this one,” Ms Carmichael said.
“There were a number of outstanding works but the judges felt that Anh Nguyen did not put a foot wrong. The work is a self-assured captivating piece and thoroughly deserving of the major prize.”
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes congratulated all entrants.
“Both the prize and this incredible centre give our community the opportunity to be exposed to and appreciate quality art, as well as providing an aspirational place for local artists to exhibit their work," she said.
“I congratulate all contributing artists to this wonderful prize, and thank Mr Sellers, who made the trip from Sydney to open the building and celebrate with us. We’re so grateful for his continued support in helping to grow our region’s understanding of and engagement with art.”
Ms Nguyen presents an artist’s talk on Saturday, February 23 from 11am at the centre.
The council said the centre was the region’s first purpose-built arts centre.
It has "a professional standard 100m2 exhibition space featuring sound-rated moveable walls, as well as videoconferencing facilities, kitchen facilities and additional parking", a spokesperson said.
Prospective volunteers should visit www.thebas.com.au