“Wow! What a night for art in Eurobodalla!”
With those words, Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes kicked off a big night of celebration with the opening of The Bas and the opening of the Basil Sellers Art Prize on Friday evening. Several hundred people packed the space adjacent to the Council Chambers in Moruya.
The Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre, AKA The Bas, is the region’s first purpose-build arts space and will serve as a major platform for local artists and touring shows, with a professional standard 100m2 exhibition space featuring sound-rated moveable walls, as well as video conferencing facilities, kitchen facilities and additional parking.
Wollongong artist Anh Nguyen’s ‘Jamberoo Morning’ was announced the winner of the Art Prize, which added to the atmosphere of The Bas grand opening.
Ms Nguyen’s acrylic on canvas piece was selected from 28 shortlisted works and will be placed in Mr Sellers’ extensive art collection.
Moruya artist Stephanie McClory won the $5,000 Eurobodalla Prize with her acrylic on canvas piece, ‘Some days are Rough.’ The prize, sponsored by Eurobodalla Council, is acquisitive, with the works added to a new collection that reflects the artistic excellence of Eurobodalla.
The Basil Sellers Art Prize received a record number of entries this year and was open to artists from across NSW and the ACT for the first time. It was judged by independent curator Deborah Clark, the Australian Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection manager Sharni Jones and local artist and Council’s creative arts development coordinator Indira Carmichael.
The judges said it was a difficult but rewarding task to shortlist the works for the Bas centre’s inaugural exhibition.
“It was a pleasure to be involved. Judging a prize such as this is always difficult, especially in an exhibition as varied as this one,” Ms Carmichael said.
“There were a number of outstanding works, but the judges felt that Anh Nguyen did not put a foot wrong. The work is a self-assured captivating piece and thoroughly deserving of the major prize.”
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said the grand opening of the Bas was an incredibly special occasion that marked a turning point for creative arts development in the shire.
“Eurobodalla turned out in droves to see the exhibition and celebrate their new exhibition centre,” she said.
“Both the prize and this incredible centre give our community the opportunity to be exposed to and appreciate quality art, as well as providing an aspirational place for local artists to exhibit their work.”
“I congratulate all contributing artists to this wonderful prize, and thank Mr Sellers, who made the trip from Sydney to open the building and celebrate with us. We’re so grateful for his continued support in helping to grow our region’s understanding of and engagement with art,” Cr Innes said.
Art lovers can learn more about Ms Nguyen and how she approaches her work when she presents an artist’s talk on Saturday (23 February) from 11 am at the Basil Sellers Exhibition centre.
The community also has the chance to vote for their favourite work in the $500 People’s Choice Award while the exhibition continues at the Bas Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm until Sunday 17 March.
For more information, and to sign up to be a friend of the Bas, visit www.thebas.com.au
Original Article published by Alex Rea on the RiotACT.