CELEBRATING the creative talent of regional artists who have won and been finalists in Australia's oldest art prize is behind a new exhibition opening at the New England Regional Art Museum on February 9.
Homegrown Wynne will coincide with the Wynne Prize 2023 at NERAM.
The exhibition features several regional artists who have been selected and shown in past Wynne prizes.
The exhibition includes paintings by Ross Laurie, Pring Prize and trustees watercolour prizewinner Leah Bullen, nine-time finalist and 2002 Wynne Prize winner Angus Nivison and sculpture by James Rogers.
"This exhibition is a celebration of the incredible talent right here in New England," NERAM director Rachael Parsons said.
"By featuring artists who have been finalists (and winners) in the Wynne Prize, we aim to showcase the fantastic art being produced in our region. It's a small but powerful glimpse into the creativity flourishing in New England."
The $50,000 Wynne Prize is an open competition judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW and awarded annually to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture, alongside the Archibald and Sulman Prizes.
The Wynne Prize is Australia's oldest art prize and was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne, who died in 1895. It was first awarded in 1897 to mark the official opening of the art gallery at its present site. In 2023, following its presentation at the gallery in Sydney, the Wynne Prize 2023 exhibition will tour for the first time since it began over 125 years ago.
The exhibition has been on show at the Bank Art Museum Moree, Mudgee Arts Precinct and will be heading to the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery when it closes at NERAM. The inaugural Wynne Prize tour will give regional audiences the chance to see the best of Australian contemporary landscape painting and sculpture closer to home.
Armidale artist Leah Bullen, who won the trustees watercolour prize in 2016, said it was always an honour to be selected for a prize and win.
"To be a finalist in the Wynne, the oldest and one of the most prestigious landscape prizes in the country, has been very reaffirming to my art practice," she said.
"The Homegrown Wynne exhibition is a great opportunity to show work that was selected in the Wynne Prize previously to a local audience."