More local artists vie for Hanson prestige

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THIS year's Comalco Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards have matched the previous record entries of two years ago.

Spokeswoman for the Gladstone Art Gallery and Museum Mellissa Case said 326 entries were submitted for judging in the awards, from 224 artists.

She said there were also a greater number of local artists entered, 142 of the 224, which was about 60 per cent of all entries.

Ms Case said by today all submissions would be in place and ready for judging by Tony Ellwood, the deputy di-rector of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Mr Ellwood will also will also give a "walk-around talk'' on some of the works on display.

'The number of local entries has made these awards very exciting because of the diversity of the works on display,' she said.

Ms Case said the other record was the number of young people who have entered this year's awards.

She expected it would be difficult to pick a winner this year.

'We (at the gallery) all had a go as to which was most likely to win, and our opinions are all different.

'It would have been easier to pick a Melbourne Cup winner than to pick this year's award winner.'

Ms Case said the awards were the biggest event staged by the gallery and museum 'so if anyone wants to visit the gallery, this is the time to do it'.

One of the reasons for the large number of entries is believed to be the $13,000 prize purse, including the $3000 in the main award, and the number of categories in the competition.

The award will be presented at 7pm tomorrow. The works will remain on display until December 7.



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