Preparations for Redland Art Awards 2008 are well underway. Organisers are currently calling for entries from artists and seeking support from private enterprise in the Redlands.

Redland Art Awards is a biennial painting competition open to all Australian artists presented by Redland Yurara Art Society Inc and Redland Art Gallery. Redland Art Awards 2008 will open on the evening of 28 November 2008 and be on public display in Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland from 30 November 2008 until 25 January 2009.

With an increased prize pool, the competition features four non-acquisitive prizes of $10,000, $4,000, $2,500 as well as the Meredith Foxton People’s Choice Award of $500.

Since 1981 Redland Art Awards has been an important annual event on the local art community’s calendar. In a bold move to make its mark on the national art scene Redland Yurara Art Society with funding and considerable support from Redland Shire Council and Redland Art Gallery, initiated steps in 2006 that would encourage artists from across Australia to participate in the competition.

This involved increasing the prize pool, advertising the event effectively, introducing a rigorous selection and judging procedure and staging the exhibition biennially at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland. The restructure demanded a genuine collaboration between Redland Yurara Art Society, Redland City Council through Redland Art Gallery and private enterprise in our region, a partnership that proved highly successful.

Redland Art Awards 2006 attracted more than 400 entries from artists in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
Two of the 51 finalists were later selected as finalists in the NSW Art Gallery’s Archibald Prize Exhibition. Another two were selected as finalists in the Wynn Prize for Landscape held in conjunction with the Archibald.

Arts writer, Louise Martin-Chew, described the show as a “slick and succinct exhibition that represented the strength and variety of Australian art”. More than 3,000 visitors attended the 2006 exhibition while it was showcased at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland. Organisers anticipate more than 5,000 visitors to the 2008 event.

“As with our 2006 event, support for Redland Art Awards 2008 from private enterprise in the Redlands has been generous,” said Nola Jefferys, President of Redland Yurara Art Society. “So far we have received more than $10,000 towards our sponsorship goal of $14,000. We aim to close the gap by August.”

To date, sponsors include Heritage Building Society, Aveo Live Well, Golden Cockerel Pty Ltd, Bayside Bulletin/The Redland Times, Jan Manton Art, Cotton Ridge, Margaret Franklin & Associates, Professionals Cleveland and Redland Bay, Cleveland Picture Framing and Alchemy Cordial Company.

Redland Art Awards 2008 will be showcased for six weeks over the Christmas period and will be an important draw card for visitors to the Redlands during the holiday season.