Record entries for lucrative art prize
UPPING first prize to $30,000 has certainly paid off for the Grafton Regional Gallery as entry records for its Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) have been smashed with almost 500 received for the 2016 competition.
As of close of competition on Friday, there were 488 entries sitting in the gallery's office and their 'inbox' from artists from all around Australia, from high-profile Archibald winners to own our gifted brigade from the Clarence Valley.
The previous entry record stood at 427 in 2010.
Gallery director Jude McBean was "very ecstatic" they had broken the record again. "We aim to do that each time so this is great news."
She said it confirmed that the strength of the competition was growing and in its national profile, not only because of the prizemoney, but also who judges it.
"Also the fact the exhibition tours to eight or nine venues through Queensland and New South Wales over the next two years is also appealing for entrants," Ms McBean said.
"If any artist becomes a finalist it is an amazing promotion for them. It has prestige about it.
"The JADA is quite unique as a touring prize. I'm only aware of the Archibald that does that. It doesn't happen with many art prizes."
Nationally-recognised artists who have entered the 2016 JADA include Wendy Sharpe, Bruno Leti, Noel McKenna, Graham Fransella and the Clarence's own Robert Moore, who was a recent finalist in the Wynne Prize.
Other local entrants include Julie Hutchings, Margaret Hodgson, Rosie Vesper, Matt Foley and Patrycia Buckland.
Ms Bean said with Ken Done now on board as judge, the 2016 JADA is set to be one of the best.
The official winner and acquisitions will be announced at the official opening set for October 28.