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Down the Track - July 2021

In its 43 years, the Advocate Art Award has only ever missed one annual event. Happy to be back on, they’re gearing up for another great community-driven exhibition with Central Australia at its core.

By Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts

The Central Australian Art Society (CAAS) is the dedicated organiser of this special event. As a fully volunteer-run organisation, it’s thanks to a committed community cohort that the award continues to thrive.

As one beloved volunteer, Steve Anderson explains, “it gets a lot of people out of the woodwork, we generally get about 70 artists exhibiting.”

Considering there’s only so much wall space in the Araluen Art Centre galleries, 70 artists is a lot to showcase, and this is where the award’s values really shine through.

With no pre-selection process, the award is open to all Centralian artists. So established artists show alongside beginners, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists share the stage in a salon hang with no hierarchy, and full acceptance of everyone.

Anderson says it’s a forum for Centralians to express opinions and raise awareness of issues in the region in a group show.

“It’s a chance to show what you’ve been making over the year and an opportunity to exhibit in a major institution.”

There’s a myriad of prizes to be won, all sponsored by local businesses – the Excellence Prize, the Places, Faces and Stories category, free framing and art supplies, and of course, the People’s Choice award. You don’t need to an artist to win something – just say what your favourite piece is and you’re in the running!

Working with local businesses to support artists, the event involves a wide cross-section of the arts community in humble and meaningful ways.

The exhibition comes to a close with the Walk In The Art event, where any artists who submitted works are welcome to come and speak with the community about their practice.

As it’s often described around town, the Advocate Art Award truly is “VERY community”.

And that’s why we love it.

Advocate Art Award 2021
FRI 30 JUL – 15 AUG | 10AM-4PM

Thumbnail & header: Winner, Excellence Prize 2019: Christine Ng, ‘My Friend and Housemate’, acrylic on curtain blind

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