MAMA to Host Archibald Prize in 2017

10 November 2017

The Archibald Prize will be coming to Albury for the first time in three years.

Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald is a who’s who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities and sporting heroes to artists.

Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize. It awards $100,000 prize money to the winning artist.

In its 96th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921. An open competition, the Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting. Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour. The exhibition will close in Sydney on 22 October, before heading to Geelong Gallery, then to MAMA on 15 December.

MAMA Director Bree Pickering is looking forward to the exhibition. “This will be the first time that the Archibald Prize exhibition has been exhibited at MAMA,” she said.

”The redevelopment was still underway the last time the Archibald Prize came to Albury, so this will be the first time we have been able to host the Prize in the new museum.”

. The last time the exhibition came to Albury was in 2014, when the Archibald Prize 2013 was exhibited at Albury’s LibraryMuseum.

“The LibraryMuseum had 16,800 visitors come through the Archibald Prize in 2014,” Ms Pickering said.

“The Archibald Prize is an incredibly popular exhibition and draws many visitors from the region. We are thrilled to be hosting the exhibition during peak holiday season, it will be a great thing for the city.”

The exhibition will be a great way to engage children with art during the school holidays. Last time The Archibald was presented in Albury, it was a popular day trip for schools in the region.

This time, families will need to bring children independent of schools.

“We are hosting a Young Archie portrait competition. Interactive art programs will be presented throughout the museum. We really encourage families and young adults to come along, there will be no entry fee for under 18s and many activities that are free for all”, continued Pickering.

The Young Archie is a celebration of young Australian talent – inviting budding artists between the ages of 5 and 18 to submit a portrait of ‘someone who is special to them and plays a significant role in their life”. The Young Archie competition will run for the duration of the exhibition, with winners announced at a special event in the final week.

MAMA Curator Michael Moran adds: “We are looking forward to hosting a number of floor talks during the exhibition, and having the artists present in our Museum. It’s great to see the artists throwing their support behind the regional venues that are exhibiting their work.”

Albury visitors will also have the opportunity to cast their vote in a People’s Choice Award, won this year at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Exhibition by Anh Do’s portrait of actor Jack Charles (pictured). The winner of the Albury People’s Choice Award will also be announced at a special event in the final week of the exhibition.

“Between the People’s Choice Award, artist talks, floor talks and guided tours, it’s a very busy time for the Museum staff and volunteers. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering at MAMA, we’d love for you to join us for the Archibald Prize period,” Ms Pickering concluded.

The Archibald Prize 2017 will open on 15 December.

The Archibald Prize is a touring exhibition from the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Presenting Partner ANZ.