30 May 2023
Over two incredible evenings, the arts community of Ipswich kicked up its heels and celebrated in style the winners of the 2023 Ipswich Art Awards.
Winners were announced in nine categories on Friday night, with renowned artist Jessica Nothdurft taking out the coveted Best in Show with her piece titled House Dress, that is painted in a deliberate faux-naïve style because of its relation to her own juvenescent origins.
For the first time, opening night was followed by a second public event - Up Late - held on Saturday night where members of the community joined artists to celebrate the winners with a night of canapes, drinks and music.
Ipswich City Council Community, Culture, Arts and Sports Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said it was incredible how the Ipswich Art Awards manage to get bigger and better every year with the exhibition attracting almost 1,000 people in its first weekend.
“The calibre of talent in this exhibition is just outstanding and it’s encouraging to the local art community that Ipswich can hold its own against the rest of the country with six of the category awards presented to Ipswich residents,” Cr Fechner said.
“This year, 50 per cent of entries came from all across Australia proving that these awards are well and truly on the national arts radar increasing Ipswich’s reputation as a supportive city for artists.”
“The 2023 Ipswich Art Awards best in show winner, Jessica Nothdurft, was also a finalist in the Archibald Prize Sulman 2023.
“I want to congratulate all winners and also congratulate all those that entered, as it takes courage to have your art hanging in this exhibition.”
This year’s judges were Rachel Arndt and Anna Thurgood, both seasoned art curators, who selected the 2023 winners and highly commended in each category.
Winners for 2023 Ipswich Art Awards are:
Best in Show: Jessica Nothdurft – House Dress
Painting, Acrylic and Oil: Jennifer Kent – Before the Feast
Painting, Watercolour: Deb Mostert – Owl as Object
Drawing and Pastels: Emily Banwell – Fairy Bread
Three Dimensions: Rachel North - Unwriting Landscape
Print Making: David Turner – Defunct
Mixed Media: Bonny Shore – Reflections
New Media: Renee Yates – West
Photography: Dane Beesley – Balloon 100
Ms Arndt, who has more than 20 years of experience in Australia and internationally, said the standard of entries was particularly high this year.
“I’ve been really impressed by the artists, their talent and quantity of entries which is a wonderful indication of the support for arts and culture in Ipswich and across Australia,” Ms Arndt said.
Ms Thurgood, who has been curating exhibitions for over 10 years, said it was a delight to be asked to judge the awards.
“I have been overwhelmed by what we have seen and there are some absolute standouts too, that I’m quite excited about,” Ms Thurgood said.
The winners share in $15,000 of prize money, with a further $1,500 still to be awarded to one lucky artist when the People’s Choice Award is announced at the end of the exhibition.
The exhibition at council’s administration building 1 Nicholas Street in the Nicholas Street Precinct is open 10am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday. All visitors are welcome to cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award. Entry to the exhibition is free.