Archibald Prize Exhibition – Coffs Harbour

Awarded to the best portrait painted by an artist resident in Australasia, the Archibald Prize presents images of a who’s who of contemporary culture, from politicians to celebrities and from sporting heroes to artists. The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921 and is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize. It is also Australian art’s most controversial competition. Numerous legal battles and much debate have focused on the evolving definitions of portraiture. The Archibald quickly became a prize eagerly sought by artists, not only because of the money it offered and the publicity and public exposure it generated, but because it also gave portrait artists an opportunity to have their work shown in a major gallery. Previously, portraitists had been largely restricted to public or private commissions. 

Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on regional tours, including the upcoming visit at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. The 2019 Archibald Prize will be on show at two venues this year, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Culture Hub on Level 1 at Coffs Central.

“The creation of Culture Hub gives us the chance to present the whole Archibald exhibition for the first time,” Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery curator Chloe Waters says.

As part of the exhibition, the Gallery is hosting the Young Archie competition. Budding artists between the ages of 5 and 18 were invited to submit a portrait for the Young Archie competition, as part of our family-focused activities for the 2019 Archibald Prize regional tour. Entries will be exhibited alongside the Archibald Prize exhibition. The Archibald Prize exhibition begins with a sold-out opening night function on Friday, with the exhibition open to the public from Saturday until March 6.

When: Friday, January 22 to Saturday, March 6

Where: Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Culture Hub, Level 1, Coffs Central

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Coffs Harbour