Top arts prize gets even bigger

Published on 11 February 2019

Nillumbik Prize 2018 winner

The Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art 2019 is open for entry – with the first prize to quadruple in value.


Returning to its original incarnation, the prestigious award is open nationally. Emerging and established contemporary artists working in any medium, responding to the theme Place and Space, are invited to enter.


The new prize format includes two acquisitive awards incorporating a local award of $10,000 and the major one of $20,000.


Mayor Karen Egan said the Nillumbik Prize, established in 2003, helped develop the Council’s Art Collection and cemented the Shire’s reputation as a supporter of contemporary visual art.

“It’s a renowned platform for artists to showcase their work and an opportunity for the community to enjoy art created both inside and outside the Shire,” Cr Egan said.

“This ties in with Council’s aim to support and invest in the creative industry. An acquisitive prize provides an important contribution to the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection. As a national prize, it also puts Nillumbik firmly on the Australian map as an arts destination.”

The prize will also now be held biennially, allowing artists time to develop new work.

The biennial art award will dovetail with the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing, which will incorporate the former Literary Nillumbik (Alan Marshall Short Story Award) in the alternate year from 2020.

Details regarding the exciting redeveloped prize will be announced later this year. The alternate year will also see the curation of a major exhibition of artworks from the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection.

Judges this year are esteemed artist, Godwin Bradbeer; Charlotte Day, Director, Monash University Museum of Art and Danny Lacy, Senior Curator, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.


Entrants will be short-listed and finalists’ artworks exhibited from Thursday 30 May to Sunday 22 July 2019 at the Barn Gallery, Montsalvat. Award recipients will be announced on opening night Thursday 30 May 2019.

The Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art is presented by Nillumbik Shire Council, in association with Montsalvat.

Entries open on 11 February and close on 12 April. Entries can be submitted online at

For more information email or phone 9433 3131.



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