Basil Sellers Art Prize pioneers cultural shift

Published: 3 April 2024

Indi Carmichael says it’s time for art prizes to meet the needs of artists.

As the exhibition coordinator prepares the 20th year of the Basil Sellers Art Prize – and with both professional and personal insights around the challenges of getting artwork hung – Ms Carmichael is proposing a fresh perspective on art-prize participation, one tailored to artists from start to finish.

“Ours is a national art prize with a $25,000 acquisitive award sponsored by philanthropist Basil Sellers AM, along with the $5,000 Eurobodalla Prize to recognise outstanding local work,” Ms Carmichael said.

“With a proliferation of prizes in recent decades, artists are investing substantial amounts of time and money but with no certainty their work will be selected. Many are questioning whether art prizes reflect their values and artistic principles.”

Ms Carmichael said the Bas was an exhibition space with artists and people at its heart, and the Basil Sellers Art Prize was no exception.

“Keeping artists’ needs in mind we’ve simplified the entry process, with less of the restrictions that conflict with the reality of being a creative practitioner in Australia. Our goal is to create a positive experience – from beginning to end – for all participants,” she said.

“For example, we don’t require a CV or proof of professional status – we assess artworks on merit, we explain where your entry fee gets spent, we pay promptly for sold work, we can assist with courier support, and although submissions must be recent, we don’t demand exclusivity.

“Art prizes are so much more than the final exhibition and people don’t realise the bulk of our effort is focused on work that may not make the final show but certainly helps us to observe nationwide shifts, trends in ideas and gauge cultural developments.

“They also help us find and earmark for the future those extraordinary artists doing amazing work.”

The Basil Sellers Art Prize invites artists from across the country to submit 2D artwork in traditional mediums – painting, drawing and printmaking (unique state). The prize is held at the Bas, a premier art space located at Moruya on the NSW south coast.

  • Call for entries: Monday 15 July - Friday 27 September 2024
  • Exhibition opening and winners’ announcement: Friday 6 December 2024
  • Exhibition: Saturday 7 December 2024 - Sunday 2 February 2025

For more information visit the Bas website or contact Indi Carmichael.

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