Glenda’s grapes are pick of the bunch

A huge crowd gathered on Sunday at Balaklava Courthouse Gallery for the 2019 Balco Balaklava Art Prize & Associated Awards.

Curator Jo May, welcomed everyone present, including numerous sponsors and artists, along with gallery patron, Rodney Reid, Malcolm May and Rob Lawson of the Balco Group, and judge Nona Burden, to the 29th exhibition.

“This year there were 154 entries from 91 artists – 27 of those are first time entrants here, with the youngest being five and the oldest in his 90s,” Jo said.

After speeches and presentation of awards over numerous categories, Jo invited judge Nona Burden, from Auburn, to the stage to present the 2019 Balco Balaklava Art Prize, awarded to the Most Outstanding Art Work in the exhibition to Glenda Bruce of Dernancourt for her oil painting titled, Bowl of Grapes.

This is an acquisitive prize, retained by sponsor, Balco and displayed in its Balaklava office.

Malcolm May, a founding director of the Balco Group, presented the major prize of $2000 to Glenda.

Speaking on behalf of Balco, which has sponsored the art prize for 24 years, Malcolm May thanked all artists and other sponsors for their support of the event over the years, before officially opening the exhibition.

“Balco’s principle of giving has, since its inception almost 30 years ago, resulted in around $100,000 being given back to the community each year,” Malcolm said.

The exhibition runs until September 1, and is also part of the SALA festival for August.

The People’s Choice award is open until then too, so make sure you vote for your favourite artwork when you visit.

All works are for sale at reasonable prices, so go and see what is on offer.

The gallery is currently continuing its renovations, with new paving and garden at the front, and removal of the old front fence.

Donations are always welcome, and can be made when you visit.

The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Sundays 2-4pm, and entry is free.

2019 Balco Art Prize and Associated Awards results:

• Hangers’ Prize, presented by sponsor Alick Barr –  Susan Longbottom. ‘Poultry Pair’.

• Junior Encouragement Award, presented and sponsored by Rodney Reid, awarded to the best work by a primary school student – Charlotte Lockwood. ‘Me’.

• Senior Student Art Prize for Best Work by a Secondary School Student – Tanisha Dunstall ‘River of Life’

• Most Outstanding Sculpture Prize – Alison Broughton-Wright. ‘Among Old Mallee Trees’

• Most Outstanding Photography Prize –Laura Watson “Shadows of the Past”

• Most Outstanding Pastel Prize – Meredith Mayr. ‘Early Morn, Boston Is’

• Most Outstanding Still Life Prize – Jim Cook, ‘Still Life with Blue Pot’

• Most Outstanding Portraiture Prize – Ron Wilson ‘Thoughts of the Past’

• Novice Art Prize, awarded to the most outstanding art work by a novice artist who has not previously won an award in any competition – Michelle Gardner, ‘Trees for Life’

• Country Life/ Landscape Art Prize awarded to the best work featuring “Country Life or Landscape” –  Lise Temple, ‘November’

• $300 Wakefield Regional Council Art Prize, awarded to the most outstanding creative entry – Margaret Walsh, ‘Mother Holding Crucified Son.’