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SIXTY-THREE Australian artists have been selected as the finalists in the Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition, due to be held this year at the Coral Sea Resort, Airlie Beach

The theme for this year’s call for entries was ‘memories,’ and artists were encouraged to consider and reminisce upon a certain moment in time, a place or person that inspired them, or an experience that shaped them.

Exhibition coordinator Glenda Brown said of the entries: “The standard of submissions this year was of extremely high quality. All participants should be incredibly proud of themselves.

“It’s wonderful to be able to support artists, local, intrastate and interstate, and to be able to display such a high calibre of works for our audiences.

“With so many entries, it was an excellent reflection on the talent and scope of Australian artists, and a great insight into the ‘memories’ of what stands out for these artists.”

Mary Ann Santin, of ARI Whitsundays, and guest judge of the 2022 selection panel said, “the selectors were inundated with quality entries from all over Australia.

“The finalists provide an eclectic response to the theme of ‘memories,’ and we look forward to curating an exciting exhibition for the Whitsundays Arts Festival.”

The winning artwork of the major $5,000 Regional Arts Prize will be acquired into the Whitsunday Regional Council art collection, joining Lisa Ashcroft’s winning artwork ‘Bleached Blue Coral Reef’ from 2021.

Winners will be announced by this year’s guest judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery & Visual Arts, at Home of the Arts, Gold Coast (HOTA).

Ms Cooper-Lavery will award the total $11,200 in prizes to the recipients of the Whitsundays Regional Arts Prize, Local Artist Award, Young Artist Award, 2D Works on Paper Award, 2D Painting Award, 3D Sculpture Award, and the R&K Kenyon Award.

Prize winners will be announced at the opening of the Exhibition on Friday, September 23. Doors open to the public at 6.30pm to 8pm in the Elbow Room, at Coral Sea Resort.

The highly coveted People’s Choice prize is chosen by visitors to the exhibition.

With a prize pool totalling $11,200 and sponsored awards from Whitsunday Regional Council and businesses around the region, the exhibition is a nod to how a community comes together to showcase Queensland and Australian artists.

With the bigger space in the Coral Sea Resort, the Exhibition has expanded to display over seventy 2D and 3D works, from 63 artists.

Of the 63 finalists that were selected, eleven of the finalists reside outside of Queensland, and 50 per cent of finalists are from the Whitsunday/Mackay region.

The Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition will be on display at Coral Sea Resort from September 23 to 30  as part of the Whitsundays Arts Festival.


The Whitsundays Arts Festival is a multi-faceted festival that strives to foster and celebrate the arts in our communities.

Taking place in the heart of Airlie Beach and environs, the festival provides a vibrant and engaging setting to celebrate all things art.

In 2022, the festival will take place in multiple venues, including 5-star resorts, the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre, and Airlie Beach foreshore.

Highlights include: The Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition; the inaugural Songwriters Residency and workshops; art installations with artists-in-residence; workshops for all ages; film screening and historical photographs; and the Handmade Art Markets.

Stay up to date with all the latest news and Festival events by subscribing to the e-newsletter at www.whitsundaysartsfestival.org or following @whitsundaysartsfestival on Facebook and Instagram.

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