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Art Gallery WA Media Release
Frederick Garling, View across the coastal plain

black swan prize for portraiture finalists announced

The finalists’ works will be on display at AGWA
as part of Portraiture Month 

Exhibition | 8-31 October 2016 | FREE

40 finalists have been chosen from the record number of 484 artists who entered the 2016 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.

Amongst this year's finalists were 13 Western Australian artists. There were 8 finalists from NSW, 5 from SA, 10 from VIC, 2 from QLD & 2 from TAS.

Artists were invited to submit portraits of an Australian, or Australians that they respect or admire from all walks of life. Portraits of well-known Australian identities include Les Murray, Thomas Keneally, Ben Elton and the late Judy Cassab AO CBE. Local spud king Tony Galati is also captured on canvas.

Other portraits include first-time finalist Kendal Gear with her portrait of fellow artist Claudine Gueho, and Tom Macbeth’s portrayal of Syd Kirkby, a highly regarded Australian surveyor and Antarctic explorer. 13 of the 40 finalists chose to enter self-portraits.

The Black Swan Prize for Portraiture is celebrating its tenth Anniversary in 2016, and the finalists' artworks will be on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia for the first time, from 8-31 October 2016, as part of a new AGWA initiative, Portraiture Month.

To view the full list of finalists, visit

Quote attributable to AGWA Director Stefano Carboni

"I congratulate the 40 artists whose works have been selected for this year's Award. It was a record year for entries, testament to the increasing stature of the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture. I look forward to welcoming the artists and their works to the Gallery in October as part of Portraiture Month.

"In this exciting new initiative for 2016, AGWA will explore the many forms of portraiture, across photography, painting, video and sculpture, throughout the Your Collection displays. Taking centre focus, and for the first time at the Gallery, is the State's premier portraiture prize, the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, in celebration of its 10 year anniversary.”

Quote attributable to ARTrinsic Inc Executive Director Tina Wilson

"We are excited to be partnering with the Art Gallery of WA for this year's Black Swan Prize for Portraiture and with the addition of the Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize we now offer a chance for all stakeholders – judges, artists and the public, to have their say in who has produced an award winning portrait."

About the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture

Established in 2007 by ARTrinsic Inc, the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture is the third richest prize in Australia behind the Archibald and Moran competitions.

This year's selected finalists are in the running for $70,000 worth of prizes - including the main $50,000 Lester Group Prize, $10,000 Toni Fini Foundation Artist Prize, the $7,500 Amana Living People’s Choice Prize and two Highly Commended $500 gift vouchers from HU Kendall & Co.

The Lester Group Prize, and the Artist Prize will be announced on 14 October, 2016, along with HU Kendall & Co's Highly Commended. The Amana Living People’s Choice Prize will be announced towards the close of the exhibition.

44 youth entries were also chosen from 39 schools, and these works will be on display both at Brookfield Place and Perth Cultural Centre in October 2016.

Further information

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email

Annual Sponsors

Principal Partner

Wesfarmers logo

303 MullenLowe, Singapore Airlines, Audi, Smartbots, Alex Hotel, Juniper Estate, Gage Roads Brewing Co.

Brad Durrant Dr Heidi Nistelberger.
Mark Tweedie Ken Bindle.

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