Our Moran Prize winner, Megan Seres, used her Australia Day Address at the 2017 Awards Ceremony to float the idea of Kiama establishing its own regional art prize, as a way of fostering the arts and giving a kickstart to the economy.
She cited the success of the Glover Art Prize, in the Tasmanian village of Evansdale, an acquisitive prize and exhibition which showcases hundreds of contemporary landscape paintings and has been a boon for the once sleepy town.
“We could name it after a famous artist who has lived here or been inspired by the area – we have Conrad Martins, Nicholas Chevalier, Tom Roberts or Lloyd Rees, Grace Cossington Smith, Brett Whitely or Colin Lanceley,” she said, “Or it could be the Kiama Open Art Prize or the Wodi Wodi People Art Prize.
“The flow-on effect would increase new audiences, increase tourism and visits to other attractions, and increase economic activity.”
Taking the opportunity to present her case to the local councillors, and the state and federal members present at the event, she said Kiama would need to finally build its regional arts centre to not only hold the new and growing art prize collection, but other local exhibitions, touring exhibitions, workshops and talks.
“This would help to create a sense of belonging, provide new opportunities for collaborations with outsiders, and build strong networks, while reducing social isolation, population drift and unemployment.”
To start the ball rolling, Megan offered to donate $2000 towards the establishment of the prize.
Concept plans for an arts centre are being developed.