Pro Hart art prize returns

: Pro Hart Outback Art Prize 2018. Picture: Jason King

The Pro Hart Outback Art Prize (PHOAP) will return this year with entries for the major event opening soon.

Artists will be able to submit their work from next Monday as the local Art Gallery prepares for a bigger 2022 showcase.

Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery manager, Blake Griffith, said the return of the well-renowned event was “really exciting”.

“It’s extra special because we had a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The exhibition for the Art Prize will be hosted in a new space in the upstairs area with the below level dedicated to the Gallery’s collection.

Mr Griffith is hopeful the popular prize will receive a record number of entries this year and is eager to see what will be presented.

“Hopefully we can smash the record from previous years,” he said.

“People have been in lockdown and spending time in their studios so we might see more entries.”

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“We never know what we are going to get until the first judging.”

The goal is to surpass the 474 entries in 2020 and reach a new milestone of 500 or more.

The PHOAP is an acquisitive competition that showcases work in any media that reflects the spirit and diversity of the Australian Outback.

The prize consists of an acquisitive first prize, a non-acquisitive second prize and a people’s choice award that totals a prize pool of $23,000.

Organisers believe the different art forms add different elements but make the judging process “extremely difficult.”

“In that way, the exhibition is quite unique and showcases artwork from perspectives,” Mr Griffith said.

“We the public get to enjoy that but makes judging difficult because it’s different forms of mediums being judged against each other.”

PHOAP recognises the Hart family’s continued support and contribution to the arts.

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“The legacy of Pro Hart is in the psyche of the Broken Hill creative industry,” Mr Griffith said.

“The support from the Hart family is an incredible act of generosity towards the Art Prize.”

Entries will close on Thursday, August 11, ahead of the finalist notification on Friday, September 2.

The exhibition will run from Friday, September 30 to Sunday, November 20.

Mr Griffith expects the exhibition to draw large numbers of people from near and far when open to the public.

“From an arts tourism point of view, it attracts people from all over to come and have a look,” he said.

“It’s great for locals to come and see what is going to be included in the collection. We do have high visitation in that period and people do enjoy voting.”

For more information or to access the entry form, visit www.bhartgallery.com.au/Whats-On/Pro-Hart-Outback-Art-Prize.

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