For almost 20 years community members have volunteered their time over the summer holidays to ensure the annual running of the Corowa Federation Art Prize and Show – a Section 355 Committee of Federation Council. 


This year the exhibition sees a change in date from 18 October until 5 November – to coincide with the ever-popular Baldy Archy Exhibition.  With this change, the organising committee agreed that the event required a new name and new look; thus the Federation Art Prize was (re)born.


Marj Saines, Committee Secretary, sees the fresh rebrand as a welcomed change that will continue to help the art show prosper.


“I have been involved with the Art Show since its creation and have seen the event grow into a nationally respected prize,” she said.


“Changing the name to the Federation Art Prize is a nod to our place in the history of Australia.”


Aaron Nicholls, incoming Committee Chair, said that the shift in name and the addition of two new art prizes were composed, in part, to inspire younger artists to get involved. 


 “We’re now known as the Federation Art Prize or Fed Art Prize for short. It’s catchy, contemporary, identifiable and inclusive; in fact, we’ve added two new categories - Young Artist and Emerging Artist – to attract younger artists and budding art lovers.  And what’s more, we’re opening up a new category for Sculpture – our 3D Award,” he said.


The overarching objective for the committee has been that the cosmetic and structural changes to the show will strengthen its overall ethos. Additionally, they have engaged graphic designer, Joe Scerri of Studio Scerri, to develop a new identity for the show through a unique logo.


“We felt Joe bought to the project a solid understanding of the importance of good graphic representation in the art world and demonstrated a unique talent to interpret our aspirations for the prize,” Mr Nicholls said.


“Our new logo is directly representative of the coming-together of Australia’s States and Territories. Similarly, it could now represent the coming together of Artists, or communities – we love it.” 


The committee has also been inspired by the fundraising model of the neighbouring Chiltern Art Prize to help propel the growth of arts and culture in the region.


 “With the changes we revisited our funding platform, concluding that we needed to work smarter and not harder to raise funds but more importantly, we needed to offer a platform for businesses who wish to show their support for the advancement of Art and Culture in the region – one of our primary aims,” Mr Nicholls said.


“This led us to follow a sponsorship model similar to that of the (hugely successful) Chiltern Art Prize. 


“Our new approach has resulted in a fantastic level of sponsorship and engagement with local businesses large and small - all of whom represent a wide variety of business types and customers.”


 “With both the Federation Art Prize and Bald Archy exhibitions now set to run concurrently, the committee is confident we’ll see a further strengthening of Corowa’s position as a place to visit and experience a diverse and engaging range of visual arts offerings. This is just the first initiative of many,” he said.


The group has also reached out to local (Corowa) galleries Gallery 294, Wacky Bird Gallery and friends in Chiltern and Rutherglen, with an offer to cross-promote and support any events they have planned during the show. 


“We’re very much about working to a Good Neighbour policy – this is everyone’s gig – whether you’re into oils, watercolour, portraiture or sculpture – there’ll be something here for you,” Mr Nicholls said.


The last exhibition saw in excess of 700 visitors through the doors. 103 artists exhibited work, 392 artworks were shown and prize money of $7500.00 was awarded. More than 100 guests attended the opening night alone! With new energy, new prize category structures and a new identity, the organising committee is expecting the largest show yet. 


Entries are open from 18th August until 20th September.


The Gala Opening on 18 October will see one lucky visitor take home a door prize of either one night’s accommodation for two at the prestigious Circa 1936 or a selection of wines from St. Leonards Vineyard, Wahgunyah. 


The committee would like to thank platinum sponsors Federation Council, St. Leonards Vineyard, Circa 1936 and other local sponsors for their support.


Posters and flyers promoting the event will be distributed across the entire Federation Council region as well as Rutherglen, Wahgunyah and Chiltern. Both Facebook and Instagram pages and the official website are up and running with comprehensive information and entry details easily accessed.


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