EXCITEMENT is building with the winner of the 2014 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award announced Friday night at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
This non-acquisitive biennial art award is sponsored by the Shirley Hannan Trust and offers a first prize of $50,000.
The BDN spoke to curator of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery Iain Dawson as he was putting the final touches on the award’s exhibition on Wednesday.
“Going through the whole process for the Shirley Hannan has been daunting at times, but exciting every step of the way.
“We are still adjusting lighting and getting everything perfect, but it’s all on track for Friday.
“We’ve had council staff through the gallery and Mayor Bill Taylor had a walk through this morning.
“The judge, Dr Sarah Engledow from the National Portrait Gallery, arrives at the gallery on Friday to view the finalists and choose the winner, and I am very much looking forward to meeting her,” Mr Dawson said.
As the third-richest art prize in Australia, the Shirley Hannan attracts entries from artists nationwide.
Anna Buck of Bega, Stan Squires and Ann Brosnan, both of Pambula, were the only local artists to be included in the 35 finalists to be judged by Dr Engleman.
“I’ve entered three times, but this is the first time I’ve been a finalist,” Ms Buck said.
“It’s astonishing to me.
“My painting style is fairly free and the Shirley Hannan requires a realistic depiction, so I thought the odds were against me.
“However, it seems my work has been judged to be an accurate depiction.”
The title of Ms Buck’s work is “Bob and Thistle” and features her husband Robert and the couple’s cat.
Ms Buck will be attending Friday night's opening at Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
The 2014 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award exhibition will run until July 5.