Gippslanders will get a unique first look at Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art award when the Archibald Prize opens in Sale next week.
With Melburnians still in lockdown, Gippsland locals and regional Victorians will effectively have exclusive access to the Archibald Prize when it goes on display on Friday 8 October.
Wellington Shire Council is urging Gippslanders to beat the metro crowds by visiting the exhibition early in its run at the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale, the state’s sole host venue.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Garry Stephens said the Archibald Prize was a major event for the region and this was a great opportunity for Gippslanders to be first in line.
“It’s been a tough few years particularly for this region and Gippslanders deserve to treat themselves and enjoy this huge event in our own backyard,” Cr Stephens said.
“While we can’t welcome people from Melbourne to Wellington just yet, we are excited for locals to be given the chance to beat the crowds and take a look at the famous Archibald Prize exhibition.”
Cr Stephens encouraged Gippsland residents to take advantage of relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in the region and further explore Wellington Shire during their visit.
“We know that more than ever, Gippslanders are looking to explore their own backyard and keep their money local,” Cr Stephens said.
“Many local businesses in some of the hardest hit sectors like accommodation, hospitality and tourism, have jumped on board and tailored packages or special events timed with the Archibald Prize.
“It will be a fantastic chance for Gippslanders to come to the Wellington area for the day or make a weekend of it, and stay to support some of the local businesses.”
Archibald Prize Gippsland will run from 8 October to 21 November.During the 45-day exhibition, Gippsland Art Gallery will host a range of other activities which can be booked either when buying a ticket or afterwards.
These include artist talks, Sunday Social Sketch sessions,portrait painting workshops for families and for young adults, as well as adult art workshops.
The Port of Sale precinct will also be abuzz with other activities coinciding with the exhibition.
Celebrating its 100th year, the Archibald Prize 2021 went to Melbourne based Peter Wegner’s portrait of fellow artist and centenarian Guy Warren. It will be on display along with People’s Choice winner Julia Ciccarone’s self-portrait, and Packing Room Prize winner Kathrin Longhurst’s portrait of singer Kate Ceberano.