The evolution of Fleurieu Prize

The Fleurieu Art Prize has been celebrating our picturesque landscape since 1998 with a particular regional focus, but changes are afoot to create stronger links between the city and the country.

The most signi ficant changes are the introduction of a $10,000 Food and Wine Art Prize, in addition to the $65,000 main prize for landscape and the move of the major prize to the Samstag Museum of Art. “Bringing the prize into the city gives it a pro le here in Adelaide,” says Erica Green, director of Samstag. “It helps to lift it within the community by linking the Fleurieu with Adelaide and hopefully getting more attention nationally.” The Food and Wine prize will keep the links to the Fleurieu Peninsula with the finalists exhibiting at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre. Both prizes are non-acquisitive and while the works in the Food and Wine Prize are for sale those at Samstag are not. Green says: “There will be no sales through the museum and that will increase the provenance. The artists will then be able to go and sell their work independently, probably with enhanced value.” Moving the prize to Samstag also provides more opportunities for the artists selected as finalists. “Artists can exhibit in a professional museum space and they are given time to develop their work with the curatorial staff. We will work very closely with them,” says Green. Nigel Hurst, director & chief executive of Saatchi Gallery in London, will continue his association with the prize when he returns as one of the judges in 2016. Other changes include shifting the prize to June to take it out of the festival season, an increase in the award to $65,000, and opening entries up to all media. “There are no real restrictions on the work other than that the work must be able to be put on a truck and taken through the front door,” says Green. These changes will help broaden the scope of the exhibition and the artists entering. “I think different people will be entering,” she says. “I think it’s a wonderful prize because it will encompass a whole range of practitioners. Emerging artists right through to established artists will have the opportunity to participate.” Entrants only need to enter an idea or an indicative work and then they have six months to finish it if they are selected as a finalist. While part of the motivation for these changes is to give the prize a national focus, the essence remains the same: to recognise the importance of the landscape in Australian art. Green says: “It’s the world’s richest non- acquisitive landscape prize. It deserves to be national.” Entries close on Tuesday, December 1 An exhibition of selected shortlisted finalists works will be at the Samstag Museum of Art from June 3 to July 29, 2016 fleurieuartprize

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