Prestigious Art Competitions Now Open

Entries are now being called for two of the feature events of the 2019 Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival – the 2019 John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize and the 2019 Design Prize.

In 2019 – with the generous support from long-time sponsor The Balnaves Foundation – the prize money for the John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize will total $10,000, with a further Local Art Prize of $1000 also on offer thanks to the generous sponsorship of local Festival supporter, Lois Hodge.

“The John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize is a highly anticipated event of the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival – both for entrants and Festival goers – and is the springboard to the Festival,” said Cate Bell, Festival President. “It has previously attracted a wide range of entries from artists working in a two dimensional medium from within this region and beyond, and has firmly made its mark on the artists’ calendar,” said Ms Bell.

The Balnaves Foundation have been generous sponsors of the John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize since 2011. The Balnaves Foundation is a private philanthropic organisation established in 2006 by Neil Balnaves AO to provide support to charitable enterprises across Australia.

The John Shaw Acquisitive Art Prize is open to all emerging and established artists from throughout Australia and must be inspired by the works of this early Penola poet.
As in past years, a Local Art Prize is open to those artists residing within the Limestone Coast, as a further encouragement for the local community to get involved.
“For those considering entering for the first time, it really is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a dynamic Festival whilst acknowledging Neilson’s place in Penola’s history,“ says Ms Bell.

Also calling for entries is the 2019 Design Prize of $1000, sponsored by the Penola & Districts Business Association and PQR Regional Produce, which sees the winner’s graphic design work used for all promotional material for the following year’s Festival. This includes a full colour programme, posters, flyers, website, banners and other marketing collateral.

It has been created to celebrate creativity and excellence and provides an ideal forum for emerging designers to have their work recognised through a professional platform.
“The Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival Committee aims to create a dynamic, exciting event each year, and it is through Competitions such as these that the Festival really does shine,” said Ms Bell.

The Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival will be held over four days in May, with the announcement of the 2019 John Shaw Neilson Art prize and 2019 Design prize winners marking the official opening of the Festival on Thursday, May 16 at the Penola High School. The exhibition will be on display for a month following the Festival.

The winning John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art entry will be included in the acquisitive collection of previous winners, and will be displayed at the Penola Coonawarra Visitor Information Centre.

Deadline: To be sent to Penola High School, 43 Cameron Street, Penola by 4.00pm Friday 10 May 2019.
Entry Fee: $25 per entry

For further details and competition entry forms head to

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