Ann Messer and Fiona Preston from the ANZ Bank drew the winning entry for the Grafton gallery’s Archibald Prize People’s Choice competition yesterday.
Ann Messer and Fiona Preston from the ANZ Bank drew the winning entry for the Grafton gallery’s Archibald Prize People’s Choice competition yesterday.

Truer winner of People's Choice voting prize found

UP UNTIL Christmas, odds were that a visitor to the Clarence Valley was going to take out the Grafton Regional Gallery's $500 People's Choice competition but since then they had swung back into the locals' favour.

And these swinging statistics were suitably justified as the winner announced yesterday could literally lay claim to both camps.

Sydney resident and former Clarence Valley woman Julie Truer received the welcome holiday bonus after calling in to see the acclaimed exhibition on Friday while in Grafton to visit her parents.

People who voted for their favourite artwork in the exhibition went into a draw for the $500 prize sponsored by the ANZ Bank, who also sponsored the Archibald Prize.

Julie nominated her favourite work as Tim Storrier's "controversial" self-portrait (the 2012 winner).

The competition was run in conjunction with the Archibald Prize exhibition which opened at the gallery on December 7.

Gallery director Jude McBean said they had received more than 500 entries in the 'ballot-box' which eventually saw Lennox Heads artist Angus McDonald's photorealistic painting of Tim Maguire take out the honours.

It bumped out Nick Stathopoulos's portrait of Fenella Kernebone by a narrow margin.

Ms McBean said the gallery had received about 3500 visitors to the exhibition since it opened with the rate of local lookers gaining momentum after the initial 70/30 in favour of the tourists.

"We normally get a 50/50 mix of locals and visitors coming along to our exhibitions. We had more out-of-towners to start with but the locals have caught up since Christmas. It's more like 65/35 in their favour now, " Ms McBean said.

Visitors and locals have until the end of next week to see what is considered to be Australia's most coveted art prize.



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