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Final call for entries: the 60th Blake Prize

Entries close Friday 24 June

Artists have less than a week to submit their entries for this year’s Blake Prize, which in 2011 celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The Blake Prize is one of Australia’s longest standing and most highly sought after art prizes. The Prize has been awarded since 1951 to a work that addresses a subject of religious or spiritual integrity. This pre-requisite is one that intentionally invites open responses from artists and, as such, has drawn much discussion, debate and controversy over the years.

In recognising this significant milestone in Australian art, Blake Society Chair, Rod Pattenden, said, “Over its 60 years, the Blake Prize has been able to generate an ongoing conversation about what matters most in Australian culture. It goes beyond what is or isn’t considered ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ – the Blake is about what we as Australians believe in and how we interpret our humanness.

“The religious and spiritual imagination of Australia has shifted remarkably since 1951 as increasingly diverse immigration patterns have created communities with new religious ideas. As such, The Blake Prize has welcomed a greatly diversified series of personal responses from artists every year – the program of works every year resembles a history lesson in the most important contemporary social issues of the time, some of which are contentious and prickly.”

Each year the Blake receives over 1000 entries from artists around Australia and artists can use any media or approach. Past winners have included John Coburn AM, George Gittoes AM, Rosemary Valadon, Eric Smith, Frank Hinder AM, Hilarie Mais, James Gleeson AO and Elwynn Lynn AM.

Every year the Blake Prize judges are chosen to recognise both the diversity of artistic practice, and the range of personal responses to spirituality and religion. Judges for The 60th Blake Prize are Pat Brassington, Artist & Curator, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania; Dr Julian Droogan, Lecturer, Macquarie University; and Dr Blair French, Executive Director, Artspace, Visual Arts Centre.

Three award categories will be available in 2011:
The 60th Blake Prize: $20,000
The John Coburn Emerging Artist Award: $5,000
The MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice: $5,000
2011 award winners will be announced at the National Art School Gallery, Forbes St
Darlinghurst on Thursday 15 September. The 60th Blake Prize Exhibition will be held at the National Art School Gallery, from Friday 16 September until Saturday 15 October. The 60th Blake Prize Finalist Exhibition is presented by The Blake Society in partnership with the National Art School.

Key dates:

Entries for 60th Blake Prize close: Friday 24 June
Award Announcements and Exhibition opening: Thursday 15 September
Exhibition: Friday 16 September – Saturday 15 October

Further details and entry forms can be found at www.blakeprize.com.au.