5 July 2022

Eurobodalla's Basil Sellers Art Prize goes national

| Aiden Rothnie
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Basil Sellers and previous winner.

Basil Sellers (right) with 2018 Basil Sellers Art Prize winner Anh Nguyen. Photo: File.

The prestigious Basil Sellers Art Prize is accepting entrants from across Australia for the first time in its 19-year history.

Run by Eurobodalla Shire Council, the biennial art prize has been one of the region’s most lucrative and sought-after art awards.

Initially created to promote arts on the South Coast, up until this year entry into the Basil Sellers Art Prize has been restricted to people from NSW or the ACT.

The Basil Sellers Art Prize was founded in 2004 by businessman, philanthropist and art collector Basil Sellers AM. Through a chance connection to Moruya, Mr Sellers has developed a long and fruitful partnership with the shire that has supported the Eurobodalla’s artistic community. It also led to the shire’s first purpose-built exhibition and arts space, named in his honour.

Until 2016, Mr Sellers was the sole patron of the purely local prize. From 2018, a new $5000 acquisitive award sponsored by Eurobodalla Shire Council was introduced. The award is given to an outstanding local entrant to support the Eurobodalla’s art community.

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In 2018 the biennial prize was opened to include artists from NSW and the ACT, with the major prize increased to $20,000. Now it has gone nation-wide with an even bigger prize purse.

Eurobodalla council’s creative arts coordinator Indi Carmichael said it was exciting to increase the reach of the prize.

“The last Basil Sellers Art Prize we did was affected by COVID so we ended up doing something online,” she said. “Then we started thinking, ‘why don’t we expand the prize’, so we decided to make it national from this year on.

“We’re excited as a small place to be able to reach across the nation with the Basil Sellers Art Prize now.”

Submissions for the 2022 Basil Sellers Art Prize are restricted to paintings, drawings, and unique state printmaking, with the prize increased to $30,000.

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Ms Carmichael said the Basil Sellers Art Prize provided a great opportunity for artists.

“We want to encourage regional artists to come out and show their work,” she said. “By making the Basil Sellers Art Prize national, that’s something we can help to do.

“For the person who is fortunate enough to win, this could be a life-changing opportunity.”

Each of the finalists will take a share of the prize money, with the winner taking the lion’s share and having Mr Sellers acquire their piece for his private collection.

The finalists will also get the chance to display their works at a finalists’ exhibition at the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre, Moruya, between 7 October and 20 November.

Entries close on 29 July. More details are available here.

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