THERE are 10,000 more good reasons for artists to put down their paint brushes and pick up their drawing tools this year to enter the 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) which opens today.

The prizemoney on offer has been restructured to now offer a very attractive $30,000 for the winner, $10,000 more than the 2012 prize, with another $10,000 to put towards acquiring suitable entries to add the Grafton Regional Galleries extensive JADA collection.

Gallery director Jude McBean said the reason for changing how the prizemoney was allocated was to continue to attract top-rung Australian artists to the biennial award including the likes of recent visitor to the gallery and Archibald winner Wendy Sharpe.

"Wendy said she was planning to send something in this year. We need to compete with other prizes around and with this amount on offer we are still the richest regional drawing award in Australia," Ms McBean said.

With a total sum of $40,000 in prizes and acquisition on offer every two years, Mayor Richie Williamson, who was present as the "soft" launch of the award at the gallery yesterday, said it was any amazing amount to be offered by a regional gallery.

"The Friends of the Gallery contributed $20,000 towards that total which is very significant for us," Cr Williamson said.

Cr Williamson also said the JADA served as a "travelling roadshow for the Clarence" as the finalists' works tour other galleries throughout Queensland and New South Wales after leaving Grafton.

"The artists like the exposure they get from the JADA. It's the national flagship of the Clarence Valley," Ms McBean said.

"But we couldn't do it without the support of the community here."



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