Long-time Merewether artist John Earle, Carrington resident Gillian Adamson and Merewether-based Nick Fintan are among the 30 finalists for the 2021 Kilgour Art Prize.
Newcastle Art Gallery received 476 entries from artists across every state and territory in Australia, the highest number ever in the 16-year history of the $50,000 prize.
The panel of judges for this year's prize are Newcastle Art Gallery director Lauretta Morton, Campbelltown Arts Centre head of curatorial Adam Porter and David Trout, the head teacher of Fine Art at Newcastle Art School.
The Kilgour Prize awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work entered into the annual competition, which is administered by Newcastle Art Gallery and funded by a bequest from artist Jack Noel Kilgour. An additional $5000 is awarded to the painting voted most popular by the general public.
The art work must include a human figure or a portrait in some way, but does not need to be of a living person, or a person of note. Figure studies, abstract representations, self portraits, single or group portraits, figures in landscape, and head or full body compositions are all acceptable.
The prize is non-acquisitive.
"The Kilgour Prize encourages Australian artists to pursue and push the boundaries of portraiture and figurative painting," Ms Morton said.
"This year's selected artists present diverse interpretations of the brief, resulting in a very dynamic exhibition with works focusing on everything from experiences in lockdown through to scenes of everyday life."
The exhibition opens on August 13 and runs through October 31 at Newcastle Art Gallery.
The finalists are Lisa Adams, Gillian Adamson, Matteo Bernasconi, Jackson Booth, Catherine Boreham, Julie-Ann Brown, Simon Brown, Daniel Butterworth, Emily Jayne Carroll, John Dahlsen, Archer Davies, Rachelle Dusting, John Earle, David Fairbairn, Nick Fintan, Christine Fontana, Miriam Fraser, Michael Lindeman, Nunzio Miano, Robert O'Connor, Nathan Paddison, Lori Pensini, Alice Pulvers, James R Randall, Zeljka Reljan-Music, Grace Kemarre Robinya, Paul Ryan, Jason Tolmie, Mick Turner and Mark Tweedie.
Jack Noel Kilgour (1900-1987) was an Australian artist well-known for his academic approach to landscape and portrait painting. In 1987 Kilgour bequeathed funds for the creation of a major figurative and portrait art competition to be run in perpetuity. ]
Newcastle artist and art teacher Michael Bell won the Kilgour in 2020. Sydney artist Blak Douglas won the top prize in 2019. Natasha Walsh won the prize in 2018. Cameron Stead won the prize in 2017 and Newcastle artist Peter Gardiner won the prize in 2016.
Doco follows star skater Poppy
The inspirational coming-of-age story about one of the Hunter's favourite sportspeople is on its way to the small screen next month.
Tall Poppy: A Skater's Story is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Poppy Starr Olsen over a decade as she grows from being kid who loved to ride a skateboard to an elite athlete with an eye on Olympic gold.
Olsen, 21, is Australia's number one female skateboarder and sits at number four in the world rankings.
She's off to Tokyo to represent Australia in the sport's first Olympic call-up.
"This debut film will sit alongside our other sport documentaries Freeman, CapturingCricket: Steve Waugh in India and the award-winning The Australian Dream," ABC Head of Screen, Sport & Events Kath Earle said.
The documentary will be broadcast on ABC TV at 8.30pm on August 1 and will also be available on ABC's iview player.