Monday, September 7, 2015

Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize 2015

Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize 2015

Gallery 1 & 2

12 -27 September 2015

Louisa Magrics

Ellie Kaufmann - WINNER


Nathan Keogh - WINNER

Melissa Radcliffe - HIGHLY COMMENDED

Ryan Fitzgerald - WINNER



Dylan Smyth - COMMENDED

Dot and Dash - WINNER

Christina Frogley - HIGHLY COMMENDED

Bree Rooney - COMMENDED

Michaela Swan – WINNER


The 15th Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize opened on Saturday 12th September.  Over 120 entries were received, with 57 works selected for exhibition.  Congratulations to Vicki Gerritsen on her fabulous curation of the works and to the installation team of Vicki, Leslie, and Lance.  The installation looks great.

This year, the decision was made to select one overall winner and then select a winner in each category.  This meant an additional prize was awarded rather than the overall winner being selected from amongst the category winners and one person gaining two prizes.  In some categories the judges awarded an additional commendation award as they felt this was warranted.
Congratulations to all the winners, all the artists selected for hanging, and congratulations to all those who were not selected.  It takes courage to put yourself out there and say ‘this is my work’, ‘this is the best I can do at this point in time’, ‘am I good enough for selection’,’ do I have potential’.   You have just joined the ranks of all others in the art community who ask themselves similar questions quite often.
Speaking to some, it was clear that rejection hurts and disappointment abounds.  We have all been there I suspect and it affects us all.  It doesn’t help to know that amongst the rejections were more established artists and past winners in categories.  Some had entered for the first time with some of the first works they have ever constructed.
The only way forward for everyone appears to be just to make stronger work.  Look at what others have achieved using the same mediums and be open for mentoring, teaching and learning of ways to make better work.  For those already confident and established in their styles, it must mean ‘not this time’ for whatever reason and you know inside that your work is good and this was not the right occasion to be accepted.  Doesn’t help but again, stay focussed and make your work even stronger and more confident than ever.
A heartfelt thank you to our judges Bradden Snape, Anne McLaughlin and Sarah Johnson who also put their art experience and training on the line to venture along the path of sorting and sorting until the winners were revealed. 
On a cheeky note, I suspect that sometimes the only people who really agree with the judges though, are the judges themselves, those onlookers like myself with no personal investment, and the winners.   Everybody else with a vested interest may have another opinion.  It is the nature of competitions but if you never enter, you have no chance at all.
Thank you on behalf of the art community to our sponsors who give generously to support their own community of artists.  Your contribution is valued and appreciated by all of us at NAS and the Newcastle Community Arts Centre.
During the past days we have been aware of comments made about not getting the entry criteria right, of excluding performance, moving film, electronic art as categories, and of taking entry fees from people whose work was not selected. We understand passion and commitment and what it means to try and make art.
With the pending move of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre and the Newcastle Art Space gallery in the next few years, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate this prize.  Is it actually benefiting the artists in the community who are in greatest need of such support?  Does it support those who continue to work hard to establish themselves beyond TAFE and University studies? Does it support those who work at any job to support their art practice?  Do we have the categories right?  Does the term emerging artist mean only those less than 25 years of age? Where are ‘they’ emerging from and where are they emerging to?  Asking questions is easy.
How wonderful would it be to have an award that gave Newcastle artists a boost into the ‘real’ commercial art market, within and outside of Newcastle?  Is it possible to gain sponsorship and support from significant galleries to accept the winners into an exhibition further afield?  Good ideas on paper and easy to write up options, just more difficult to achieve.
These are my personal views only and feedback and positive and constructive comments are very welcome.  Sponsorship for new prizes and awards are also very welcome.

Chris Byrnes
NAS Committee
Exhibition until 27 September 2015

Newcastle Art Space 
246 Parry St Hamilton East 2030 

The Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize (NEAP) was established by the foundation committee members of Newcastle Art Space in 2001.  Kerrie Coles was the Director at the time and the committee members were Braddon and Shellie Snape, Lilli-Ann Berg, Trish King, Helen and Steven Thomas, Fiona Dewis, Danielle Palmer, and Judith Butler.

The Annual prize was established to encourage and support emerging artists in the region. Newcastle City Council supported this prize with their contribution of the major cash prize until 2012. It was due to the Director, Ann Sutherland, the NAS committee and Newcastle Community Arts Centre Board at the time that NEAP continued. NEAP is now fully funded by fundraising and private sponsors. Newcastle Art Space is very grateful for continued support from local businesses who sponsor this important emerging artist prize for the local artist community and we welcome any new sponsors for this event.
This year, 2015, we are celebrating 15 years of the Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize.

2015 Judges
Braddon Snape, Artist and inaugural Newcastle Art Space committee
Anne McLaughlin, Learning & Audience Development Curator, Maitland Regional Art Gallery and NCAC Studio Artist
Sarah Johnson, Curator, Newcastle Art Gallery

2015 Sections and Prizes
PEOPLE’S CHOICE $200 Eckersley’s gift voucher

$500 Timeless Textiles Gallery (Textile)
$100 Ann Sutherland (Textile)
$100 Gallery 139 (Textile)

Remaining prize money is sourced from Newcastle Art Space fundraising and entry prize money and Newcastle Community Arts Centre.

2 x $100 Saddingtons vouchers
$100 Nanshe jewellery voucher
2 x $100 Co-op Bookshop University of Newcastle vouchers
Milika Casey Massage Therapies 1hr massage
$50 Zig Zag Sewing Voucher
Readymade frame Kerrijon Framing

Newcastle Herald

If your work is NOT on the Finalists list below, please collect it from the gallery on Sunday 13 September between 12 - 5pm. 

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