18 August 2023
The John Villiers Trust Outback Art Prize is a prestigious contemporary art prize set in Winton, the heart of Outback Queensland. It gives artists an opportunity to tell their story of the outback and be eligible for prizes up to $10,000.
For the twelfth year, the John Villiers Trust Outback Art Prize is inviting artists from all over Australia to use their talents to tell the story of the uniqueness of country landscapes and communities through painting, drawing, print and sculpture.
The Art Prize is open for entries now until January 2024. Submissions from adult and youth, professional and emerging artists are welcome as part of this artistic celebration of country life hosted by the Outback Regional Gallery in the Waltzing Matilda Centre, Winton.
Culminating in opening night celebrations, and an exhibition at the Outback Regional Gallery in Winton between March and May, the event draws visitors from far and wide to celebrate the wonders of the outback.
With prizes up to $10,000 on offer, a record number of entries were submitted in the 2023 competition. The stunning array of high-quality pieces used a variety of media to tell their story of the outback.
Lea-Anne Bradley, CEO of The John Villiers Trust (JVT), said the Art Prize was both a celebration of the outback and Winton and the surrounding area, and of the talents of adult and youth artists.
“We are delighted to once again see the voices and stories of country communities amplified through the works exhibited thanks to this Art Prize,” Ms Bradley said.
“This is a great opportunity to promote the beauty, strength and experiences of country landscapes and communities through the visual arts. It gives adult and youth artists exposure, recognition and development, and an opportunity to sell their exhibited pieces. It also provides an important avenue to visually share their experiences of outback Australia.
“It is also a chance to bring communities together and promote Winton and the surrounding area as a unique place to visit.”
With almost 2000 people visiting the exhibition in 2023, and many more viewing the works online, there is no doubt this event puts country Queensland, and Winton, deservedly in the spotlight.
The Art Prize is open now until 12 January 2024. Winners will be announced in March 2024 and entries exhibited at the Outback Regional Gallery in the Waltzing Matilda Centre, and online.
Find out more about the event and the many reasons to visit Winton here.
Supporting country Queensland
In 2023, JVT pledged an additional $52,500 to help fund the John Villiers Outback Art Prize for a further three years. This new commitment brings the total amount JVT has granted to The Waltzing Matilda Centre since 2011 to $180,000.
JVT funding enabled the introduction of the Emerging Youth category and extra activities for young people, helping to ensure the creativity and voices of youth are given an outlet and an opportunity to be celebrated and recognised.
Children’s Art Project and Digital Exhibition
This year even younger artists are encouraged to get involved with the John Villiers Outback Art Prize, through the new Children’s Art Project and Digital Exhibition.
For the first time, budding artists aged 5-14 years from Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Barcoo, Tambo and Diamantina are invited to submit their artwork expressing what they love about living in the bush or what they would like to see or change in their region. Entries will be exhibited online through a digital gallery, visible between March and May 2024, as part of the John Villiers Outback Art Prize.
It’s a great way to give young people from rural, regional and remote communities a voice and opportunity to express themselves through art.