Muswellbrook Art Prize
Since 1958, the Muswellbrook Art Prize has grown and evolved and is today one of the richest prizes for painting in regional Australia. Finalists for the Muswellbrook Art Prize vie for a total of $70,000 prize money across three prize categories: Painting ($50,000 acquisitive), Works on Paper ($10,000 acquisitive), and Ceramics ($10,000 acquisitive).
Astute adjudication of the Prize over the years has yielded an excellent collection of modern and contemporary Australian paintings, works on paper and ceramics from the Post War period of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, with the winning acquisitive works forming the nucleus of what is now known as the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection. Previous winners of the Muswellbrook Art Prize include such key figures as David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Richard Larter and Fred Williams. The Upper Hunter Region is also well represented with a number of local artists being successful in winning the Prize including Peter Atkins, Dale Frank, Lyn Nash and Hanna Kay.
Along with Muswellbrook Shire Council, who since 1958 has acted as sponsor and administrator of the Muswellbrook Art Prize, Bengalla Mining Company has generously sponsored the Prize for close to three decades, their commitment ensuring the development of the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.
- Entries Open – November 2023
- Entries Close – midnight 9 February 2024
- Finalists Announced – 23 February 2024
- Exhibition Launch Event and Announcement of Winners – 30 March 2024
- Exhibition Dates – 28 March-25 May 2024
Margaret Loy Pula, Anatye – Bush Potato 2012, acrylic on Belgian linen, 149 x 152cm, Winner Muswellbrook Art Prize 2013, Painting, Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.
Viola Bromley Art Prize
Viola Bromley was part of a small group invited to arrange the Festival of the Valley Art Prize in 1958 – the forerunner to the Muswellbrook Art Prize. Bromley also played a significant role in the construction of an art gallery at the Muswellbrook Town Hall site in 1975/1976, and in gaining the newly built Muswellbrook Municipal Art Gallery regional gallery status.
The Viola Bromley Art Prize is a celebration of local art across the disciplines of painting, works on paper, sculpture and photography, and open to all artists resident to the Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter Shires. The winning acquisitive work from each section will be awarded $1,500 and join the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection alongside key local artists including Max Watters, James Clifford and Viola Bromley herself.
The exhibition of the Viola Bromley Art Prize affords visitors to the gallery the opportunity to experience the art of our region, and that which builds our collection and the community’s story through the visual arts.
Viola Bromley, Rock Patterns 1958, oil on canvas on hardboard, 51 x 67.5cm, Winner Festival of the Valley Art Prize 1958, Local Section, Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.
Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize
The Australian Photographic Society’s Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize is a national $25,000 acquisitive prize that seeks to find Australia’s best conceptual photographic works. Finalists of the prize are exhibited annually at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre with the prize-winning work joining the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection, and a collection of contemporary photographic works acquired through the Muswellbrook Photographic Award (1987 – 2014). Means of work presentation are unrestricted, inviting photographers to illustrate the intent of their works through a myriad of mediums.
Sammy Hawker, Mount Gulaga 2021, 4×5 photographic negative processed with Kodak XTOL and ocean water collected from site, pigment ink printed on archival Hahnemühle photo rag 308gsm, 137.5 x 110cm, Winner Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize 2022, Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.