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April 26, 2017

Ramsay Art Prize finalists announced

Twenty-one artists are on the short list to receive the country's newest and richest prize for young contemporary artists.

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  • Image 1: Vincent Namatjira. Picture courtesy Iwantja Arts.
  • Image 2: Justine Varga. Photo by Steph Fuller
  • Image 3: Ash Keating. Photo by Tony Owczarek
  • Image 4: Celeste Chandler. Photo by Ilona Nelson

This morning, the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) announced the names of 21 artists who have been short-listed for the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize.

The award, which is supported philanthropically by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, was launched earlier this year and accepts entries from Australian artists less than 40 years old working in any visual arts medium.

The winning artist will be awarded $100,000, and their work will be acquired into the Art Gallery’s collection.

The format of the prize was developed collaboratively by the Art Gallery and the Ramsay Foundation, and AGSA director Nick Mitzevich says it is designed to provide multiple benefits.

“There’s three bites of the cherry with this – 21 artists get exposure to the public, one artist get acquired into our collection – so we add to our collection, and it’s an extraordinary life changing encouragement to the artist that wins,” says Nick.


CityMag is partnering with the Art Gallery of South Australia to celebrate the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize. We will launch our 17th print edition and congratulate the Ramsay winner at the opening of the exhibition on May 27, with a special subscribers-only event. Keep an eye out here for details.

Announced this morning, this 21 finalists are:

Tony Albert (NSW)
Khadim Ali (NSW)
Jacobus Capone (WA)
Celeste Chandler (VIC)
Sarah Contos (NSW)
Georgina Cue (VIC)
Keg de Souza (NSW)
Julie Fragar (QLD)
Teelah George (WA)
Natalya Hughes (NSW)
Trent Jansen (NSW)
Ash Keating (VIC)
Owen Leong (NSW)
Vincent Namatjira (SA)
Joey Nganjmirra (NT)
Baden Pailthorpe (NSW)
Clare Peake (WA)
Jason Phu (NSW)
Rebecca Selleck (ACT)
James Tylor (SA)
Justine Varga (NSW)

Nick says the diversity of artists on the short list reflects a depth and diversity of talent in the Australian art scene.

“These are the artists that will define Australian art moving into the future,” he says. “We’re excited to put them on the walls and elevate one and give one an amazing opportunity and build that alumni.”

An exhibition of the finalists will take place at the Gallery from May 27-August 27, and the winner will be announced on Friday May 26.

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