Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

JADA Judges' Tough; 500 Entries Narrowed Down to 55 Exhibits

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

JADA Judges' Tough; 500 Entries Narrowed Down to 55 Exhibits

Article excerpt

Byline: Lesley Apps lesley.apps@dailyexaminer.com.au

Celebrating 30 years

THE JADA is the flagship of the Grafton Regional Gallery and one of the Australia's premier art prizes.

The nationally-recognised award now sits at $40,000, attracting some of the country's most established and celebrated artists every two years.

It has ensured the gallery has been able to cultivate one of the most enviable drawing collections in the country.

The award was conceived in 1988 by gallery's inaugural director Julian Faigen with the backing of the Jacaranda Art Society (JAS). The Jacaranda Art Exhibition Prize would be a specialised acquisitive Australian Drawing Prize. Previously, the JAS award was an open prize across various mediums but galleries were making the move into specialist collections.

The award's name changed to the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award in 1994, the structure of which remains the same today -- a biennial award with entries selected by a panel for exhibition to ultimately be judged by a noted figure from the art world. The judge selects the acquisitive first prize and further acquisitions for the collection.

The Friends of the Gallery (FOGG) became the sole sponsors in 1998, offering a $5000 first prize and further $5000 for acquisitions. It has grown since then to the very attractive sum you see today. FOGG are still the major sponsor.

After each JADA, it tours for the next two years, visiting regional galleries across NSW and Queensland.

It remains Australia's richest regional drawing award.

ALMOST 500 entries were submitted to the Clarence Valley's premium art prize -- the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award -- in what is a milestone year for the biennial title.

With $40,000 worth of prizemoney and acquisitions up for grabs, it's no surprise to hear this year's submissions featured entries from across the country to contest the prize that clocks up 30 years of competition this Jacaranda.

The high calibre of entries made the task of whittling down to a gallery-friendly 55 artworks tough going, the panel led by the gallery new director Niomi Sands working hard to come up with a diverse, contemporary reflection of drawing in Australia today. …

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