2020 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize open for entries

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Merran Esson, Autumn On The Monaro. Winner of the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize.

Merran Esson, Autumn On The Monaro. Winner of the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize.

Published 16 June 2020

The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Australia’s pre-eminent award for small sculpture presented by Woollahra Council, has announced three new guest judges for 2020 along with an increased prize pool of $29,000 to mark its 20th anniversary.

Artists are now invited to submit their entries until 17 July.

The 2020 Prize judges are: Lara Strongman, Director Curatorial and Digital at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Australian style pioneer and internationally acclaimed artist and designer Jenny Kee AO; and art historian, writer and lecturer, Joanna Capon OAM.

Prize money will be awarded to winning artists across four categories: the main acquisitive award of $25,000; a Special Commendation award of $2,000; the Viewers’ Choice award of $1,000; and the Mayor’s Prize of $1,000.

Joanna Capon commented on joining the judging panel, “I am delighted to be involved in this year’s Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize which is always an important event in Sydney’s Art Calendar. In these very challenging times it will be even more significant, allowing artists the opportunity to show their works and the community to show them our support.”

Lara Strongman said, “At times of crisis, the arts are critically important in showing us new ways to look at the world around us and to imagine the future. I’m pleased to be part of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize this year and I’m looking forward to seeing the wide range of work. Sydney has an enviable reputation for the quality of its art and culture – and more than ever, we need to support our artists.”

Jenny Kee added, “In this 20th Anniversary year – what a year! – I am thrilled to be part of the judging of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. At this time of crisis it’s so important for artists to have a platform in the form of this Prize and long may it continue.”

Mayor of Woollahra Susan Wynne said, “This is a milestone year for the Prize, which has built a distinguished reputation over the past 20 years and attracts some of the world’s best artists. It has featured many truly incredible works throughout its history and I’m excited to see more beautiful artistry on display in 2020.”

Established in 2001 as the first national acquisitive prize showcasing quality and diversity of smaller dimension sculptures, the Prize attracts strong support from artists, collectors and critics. Entries are open until 17 July 2020, with artists required to submit images of their original, freestanding sculpture of up to 80cm in any dimension. For the first time, entries will be accepted for wall hanging sculptural work as it is anticipated that the finalists’ exhibition will coincide with the planned opening of Woollahra Council’s new art gallery in the former Woollahra Library heritage building in Double Bay in late 2020 (subject to COVID-19 social distancing regulations).

Last year, 43 finalists were selected from 634 entries. The main Prize winner in 2019 was Sydney based artist Merran Esson and her work Autumn On The Monaro. Previous winners include Jan King (2002), Mikala Dwyer (2003), Louis Pratt (2006), Adam Cullen (2008), Alexander Seton (2009), Archie Moore (2010), Thor Beowulf (2012), Julia deVille (2013), Robert Owen (2015), Todd Robinson (2016), Sanné Mestrom (2017) and Tim Silver (2018).

For more information visit the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize website.

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