When Bentley Art Prize judge Fran Tomlin walked into the Bentley Hall to decide who would win the major $1000 Open Art Prize, she said the artwork How Do You Do by Bentleys own Jennifer Lowrey jumped out straight away.
Talking at Saturdays prize presentation, Fran said she agonised over the decision and would have given out a thousand more awards if the organisers had let her. But it seems first impressions really do last, and Fran stuck with her initial gut feeling.
It was exuberant, said Fran of the winning work. It had verve and vivacity and a real joyfulness of spirit.
Other winners included Ross Tamlin from Kyogle, who took out the $600 Amateur Prize for his work McKellar Range, while Thomas Offord from Clunes scored two awards the $500 Bentley Landscape Prize and the $350 Acquisition Open Painting Prize. In an ironic twist, his winning Bentley landscape was a charcoal depicting the home of Reg Hartley, the man who founded and ran the Bentley Art Prize for 21 years.
The entries were very good this year so I was a bit surprised to win, said Thomas. Ive been in the art game long enough that I dont get hysterical when I do win and I dont get too down-hearted went I dont. I just think the Bentley Art Prize is remarkable theres no township and yet they have one of the best art competitions in the region. Its a marvellous testament to the locals who make it happen.
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