Finalists revealed as 2021 KILGOUR PRIZE attracts record entries


City of Newcastle

Three local artists were selected from a record number of entries vying for this year’s prestigious KILGOUR AWARD.

The Newcastle Art Gallery has received 476 works by artists from across Australia’s states and territories, an increase of over 100 admissions from 2020 and the highest number in the 16-year history of any of Australia’s main Australian artistic prizes. Nearly 2,900 works have been entered for the KILGOUR PRIZE since its creation in 2006.

The field has been narrowed down to just 30 finalists, whose works will be judged by a panel of experts including Lauretta Morton, director of the Newcastle art gallery, Adam Porter, curator of the Campbelltown Arts Center and David Trout, professor. principal of fine arts at the Newcastle Art School. .

The KILGOUR PRIZE recognizes $ 50,000 for the most outstanding work entered in the annual competition, which is administered by the Newcastle Art Gallery and funded by a bequest from artist Jack Noel Kilgour. An additional $ 5,000 is awarded to the painting elected most popular by the general public.

Newcastle Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the record entries are a testament to the esteem in which the prize and the Newcastle Art Gallery are held within the art community.

“Since the inception of the KILGOUR PRIZE in 2006, its reputation within the artistic community has grown considerably,” said Cr Nelmes.

“Attracting nearly 500 nominations for this year’s award is an incredible achievement, with the diversity and quality of the work still impressive.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact members of our visual arts community, making the $ 50,000 prize and the opportunity to showcase their work at the Newcastle Art Gallery all the more valuable. for the talented finalists. ”

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the KILGOUR PRIZE showcases some of the best examples of contemporary Australian portrait and figurative painting.

“The KILGOUR PRIZE encourages Australian artists to pursue and push the boundaries of portraiture and figurative painting,” Ms. Morton said.

“The artists selected this year present various interpretations of the brief, resulting in a very dynamic exhibition with works focusing on everything from locking experiences to scenes of everyday life.

“The quality of the works will make the selection process all the more difficult, but it is a magnificent challenge. ”

Carrington resident Gillian Adamson was named a finalist in her first year of registration for the KILGOUR PRIZE, with Merewether-based artists Nick Fintan and John Earle also on the list.

Artists from New South Wales and the Victorian era make up more than half of the 30 finalists, with work also coming from Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Territory from the Australian capital.

The exhibit will run from August 13 through October 31, with the People’s Choice voting open until October 6.

The winner of the 2021 KILGOUR PRIZE will be announced on August 13, and the People’s Prize will be awarded on October 11.


Lisa Adams, Gillian Adamson, Matteo Bernasconi, Jackson Booth, Catherine Boreham, Julie-Ann Brown, Simon Brown, Daniel Butterworth, Emily Jayne Carroll, John Dahlsen, Archer Davies, Rachelle Dusting, John Earle, David Fairbairn, Nick Fintan, Christine Fontana , Miriam Fraser, Michael Lindeman, Nunzio Miano, Robert O’Connor, Nathan Paddison, Lori Pensini, Alice Pulvers, James R Randall, Zeljka Reljan-Music, Grace Kemarre Robinya, Paul Ryan, Jason Tolmie, Mick Turner and Mark Tweedie.

JUDGES 2021:

Lauretta Morton, Director of the Newcastle Art Gallery

Adam Porter, Chief Curator, Campbelltown Arts Center

David Trout, visual artist, senior professor of fine arts, Newcastle Art School.


Jack Noel Kilgour (1900-1987) was an Australian artist well known for his academic approach to landscape and portrait painting. In 1987, Kilgour bequeathed funds for the creation of a major figurative art and portrait competition in perpetuity. As one of Australia’s premier art prizes, the Newcastle Art Gallery is proud to host the KILGOUR PRIZE.

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