Eleven artists local Queensland artists have been recognised for their artistic merit in the 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards (QRAA), coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebrations of arts and cultural organisation Flying Arts Alliance.
Evoking the spirit of celebration by responding to the theme ‘Paint the Town,’ this year’s major award winner is Chatsworth artist Kym Barrett for her artwork Gateway.
Chris Stannard, Curator at Cultural Services, Cairns Regional Council and competition judge said Kym’s artwork rejects the traditional interpretation of the adage ‘Paint the Town’ and instead proposes a more introspective form of celebration.
“Gateway communicates both a personal narrative and a socially current topic – the natural environment which sustains us – and our collective concerns about the future. “
In her artist statement, Kym mentions that she isn’t one for partying. In the place of boisterous celebration, we instead see a calmer celebration of our abundant natural Australian landscape.
Kym’s artwork demonstrates she is e an expert in the colour palette and mastering the medium of wax.
The artwork is full of interesting details which guide the viewer’s eye around the canvas, just as your eyes would move looking into scrub that’s alive with bountiful flora and flora. Overall, we are honoured to award this impressive work.”
Kym Barrett shared her appreciation for the prize in a video recorded acceptance speech.
“We know how important it is, especially during COVID restrictions and lockdowns, to be able to do the things that we love.
“I feel very fortunate to have won the ‘Art for Life’ Award and the Spotlight Award this year, and I’d like to thank the judges who are able to find something special in my work. I’m carefully considering how to spend all that lovely prize money.”
The QRAA initiative is built on years of Flying Arts’ exhibition program which is a result of a multitude of art classes and practice conducted by Flying Arts tutors around the state since 1971.
Flying Arts Alliance Executive Officer Kerryanne Farrer says this year’s competition pays homage to the organisation’s 50-year milestone.
“For any organisation, 50 years marks a significant milestone. For an organisation in the arts, this occasion feels all the more special.
“The Queensland Regional Art Awards provides an invaluable platform for our talented artists to be recognised on a state level, leading to further professional opportunities for them as artists.
“It has been delightful to see the diversity of responses by the award winning and finalists’ artworks to the celebratory theme of “Paint the Town”, that was set for our 50th anniversary year.
“Thank you to our supporters, in particular the Queensland Government and the Australian Government, and our competition partners including Major Award and Touring Exhibition partner, Holding Redlich.”
Full list of 2021 Award Winners:
‘Art For Life’ Award and Spotlight Award – Kym Barrett, Chatsworth
$10,000 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to Holding Redlich.A catalogue essay valued at $1,000, thanks to Onespace Gallery and artwords; print and digital editorial and promotions valued at $10,000+, thanks to Artist Profile.
The Annie Tan Memorial Watercolour Award – Libby Derham, Peregian Springs
$3,000 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to the Booth Memorial Fund of Annie Tan (Yuh Siew) and the Geoff Booth Foundation.
Young Artist Development Award – Weston Campbell, Charleville
$2,000 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to Turner Family Foundation.
Textile Art Award – Michelle Kurth, Cooran
$1,500 cash, thanks to an ‘Art for Life’ donor.
New Media Art Award – Bianca Tainsh, Weyba Downs
Fully funded one-week residency at State Library of Queensland, including 7 nights’ accommodation at The Johnson- Art Series, valued at $4,000.
Remote Artist Award – Netta Loogatha, Gununa (Mornington Island)
$1,500 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to Woolloongabba Art Gallery.
First Nations Artist Award – Darren Blackman, Nambour
$1,500 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to Mitchell Fine Art.
‘The Merv’ Landscape Award – Cynthia Copley, East Ipswich
$3,000 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to Consolidated Property Group.
Photography Award – Leanne Vincent, Sadliers Crossing
$3,500 non-acquisitive cash prize, thanks to BMD Group.
People’s Choice Award Adult Category – Caitlin Broderick, Ironpot
$1,250 non-acquisitive cash prize for adults, thanks to TAFE Queensland.
People’s Choice Award Youth Category – Mikayla Parrotta, Mackay
$750 non-acquisitive cash prize for Youth (artists aged 15 – 25 years), thanks to TAFE Queensland.
The 2021 QRAA winners were announced in a live-streamed event to mark Flying Arts Alliance’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbnBxwkE1Y
Learn more about the Queensland Regional Art Awards: https://flyingarts.org.au/qraa2021-paint-the-town/
For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview with an artist, please contact:
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Flying Arts Alliance
About Flying Arts Alliance Inc
Flying Arts is an arts and cultural development organisation which has been delivering visual arts activities, projects and services to regional and remote Queensland since 1971. The Association has played a significant role in inspiring artists and communities, as well as helping to overcome the impacts of regional isolation and remote living.
Flying Arts Alliance is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Flying Arts is the administrator in Queensland of the Regional Arts Fund (RAF), an Australian Government program provided through Regional Arts Australia.
Flying Arts Alliance acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and seas on which we work, live and create. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.