Collie Art Gallery has launched Australia’s richest country art prize in a bold move to make the coal mining town a regional centre for the arts. Long known as the hub of heavy industry in the South-West, the $50,000 Collie Art Prize will become a showpiece initiative for the Collie Art Gallery and seek to attract entries from throughout Australia. Local art lovers have worked with local businesses and community organisations to fund the prize, which will be awarded every two years.
Opening in 2015, with funding from the State Government, the Shire of Collie and Bendigo Bank, the Collie Art Gallery is the State’s first purpose-built A-class gallery since the Art Gallery of WA’s main building opened in the 1970s. The lucrative $50,000 Acquisitive Collie Art Prize (The Cap), sponsored by Collie & Districts Community Bank Branch, is expected to attract interest from top-class artists from across Australia, as well as arts lovers and collectors.
Minister for Culture and the Arts, Hon. David Templeman commented, “This is a terrific initiative which will hopefully bring some of Australia’s best art and artists to Collie. The Collie Art Gallery is one of the State’s most acclaimed cultural facilities and this significant prize will help make sure it reaches its potential, in terms of visitation and the quality of work on show.
“The arts has a significant and growing presence in regional Western Australia and the Collie Art Prize will strengthen that further. Our recent announcement in the State Budget that we will increase the number of touring exhibitions available to regional audiences through the Regional Exhibition Touring Boost will also improve access to the State’s collections and build the capacity of regional galleries to receive and present exhibitions.”
Local Member for Collie-Preston, Hon. Mick Murray commented, “Collie is working hard to diversify its economy beyond the heavy industries for which the town is most well-known. The McGowan Government’s $20 million Collie Futures Fund will help diversify our economy, boost tourism and create jobs. The Collie Art Prize will complement those plans perfectly and I commend the community for coming together and making it happen. Collie is proud of its long history as an industrial and mining town, and that will continue – but this exciting cultural venture shows we also have much more to offer.”
Be sure to visit the Collie Art Gallery website here for full details, including registration information.