Art Awards 2024 Winners

Art Awards 2024 winner Jo Parsons with her daughter and the winning artwork

Last Thursday evening, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council held the opening and award ceremony for the QPRC and Bendigo Bank Art Awards for 2024.

The Art Awards continue to grow, with 76 artists exhibiting their works this year, requiring the exhibition to break out of the gallery and into The Q Foyer and upstairs spaces.

Award winners include:

  • Major Acquisitive Award – Jo Parsons for The Language of Women
  • 3D Art Award – Robert Schwartz for Spectral Echoes
  • First Nations Award – Gail Neuss for The Killing Fields
  • Emerging Artist Award – Bridget MacLeod for Affordable Housing
  • Bendigo Pick Award – Melanie Lenaghan for Cancer

There were two independent, arts industry judges for the 2024 awards, Louise Wakefield, President of Southern Tableland Arts and Caroline Downer, CEO of the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Judging was undertaking in a ‘blind’ format, with the judges not knowing the name, gender, location, or value of the artist work. This approach reduces sub-conscious bias and puts a focus on the work and its individual merits.

Representatives from the Bendigo Bank, Braidwood & Bungendore took several hours to decide on their Bendigo Pick Award, which is always hotly debated but thoroughly enjoyed amongst their judges.

The judges were impressed with the balanced use of colour, shape and textures that highlight a flowing line against a more rigid grid in Jo Parson’s The Language Of Women which took home the major prize. They noted that “the work fluently combines smaller intricate details that woven together create a sense of collective perspectives and shared knowing for the audience.”

Jo said that ‘Receiving this award serves as validation of the countless hours of dedication and growth I’ve poured into my craft. I am truly humbled by this recognition and immensely grateful for the opportunity to continue pursuing my passion with renewed vigour.’

The judges chose Robert Schwartz’ Spectral Echoes as the winner of the 3D Art Award, saying “this work presents with such elegance in the organic form and shape. The use of delicate colour is evocative of nature and the glass captures light from different angles to amplify the beauty of the medium.”

The First Nations Award went to Gail Neuss’ The Killing Fields, which is a work of acrylic/enamel on metal and captures the attention at the entrance to the exhibition. The judges commented how the “great use of colour and strong patterning and line came together well in this work. The use of the mixed media including collage, paint and metal work provides an interesting way to explore this narrative.”

Bridget MacLeod’s work in red crystal glass, Affordable Housing, was the winner of the Emerging Artist Award and the judges commented how “this small composition captured attention. It is an interesting use of the material, and the simple design reflects both a basic human need and right and presents as a contradiction to the complex challenge that needs to be addressed.”

It was also a big evening for the Lenaghan family, with Melanie taking home the Bendigo Pick Award for oil painting Cancer, and daughter Josephine receiving the Highly Commended in the Emerging Artist Category with a work of watercolour, ink and pen title Good to be Different.

The Highly Commended artists were:

  • 3D – Len Hegh for Reef Form
  • First Nations – Lea Palij for Complicated Childhood
  • Emerging Artist – Josephine Lenaghan for Good to be Different
  • Bendigo – Claire Shepherd for Street Walking on Monaro

The People’s Choice and People’s Choice Highly Commended Awards are now open for voting until 3pm Saturday 15 June the final day of the exhibition, with the public announcement of these awards at 3:30pm that day in the gallery space.

Make sure to get along and cast your vote, or to purchase one of the works. The exhibition is at The Q Exhibition Space (including up the stairs and in the foyer!) and is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm.

/Public Release. View in full here.