FOLLOWING a proud tradition of presenting an alternate, even radical vision, the Salon des Refusés exhibition opens at Spiral Gallery on May 30.
The Salon show is open to any artist from the five shires of Bega Valley, Bombala, Cooma, Eurobodalla, and Snowy River, who enters the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award and is not selected as a finalist.
It will be run concurrently with the finalist exhibition at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
From humble beginnings last century, under the name and ethos of its founder, the John Balmain Portrait Prize was born.
When John could no longer support the prize financially, one of his ardent supporters stepped into the role and the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award grew into the major prize it is today, with $50,000 prize money on offer.
With nationally prominent artists submitting entries it becomes difficult for local artists to make it through the complex conditions and selection process.
This gives Spiral Gallery the chance to show, promote and celebrate the wealth of talent among portrait painters of the South-East Arts Region via the Salon des Refusés show and to encourage regional artists to continue to enter the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.
Nethercote-based artist Clive Cocum turns 72 this year, won his first art prize at age 10 and has a self-portrait in the Salon.
Kalaru artist Stephanie Field presents a mature and accomplished study of a young girl while Eva Beullens of Merimbula is showing a portrait of well-known Cowsnest identity Harry, in broad brushstrokes and contrasting patches of colour.
There is a fine pencil drawing from Maree Noordhuis of Michelago and a modern work on plywood from Serafina Leahy from Bermagui.
The new curator of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Iain Dawson, is opening the show in acknowledgement of the important support role it plays to the major parent award.
The winner of the Members’ Choice Prize will be selected by Spiral Co-operative members and Friends of Spiral and will receive a prize of $500 at the end of the show.
Spiral Gallery is proud to sponsor the Salon with the assistance of Carolyn Killen of Ivy Hill Gallery.