Calling all artists, Bluethumb’s 2020 Art Prize is here!

Are you an artist looking to gain more exposure, cred or cash to take your career to the next level? Pay attention: Bluethumb’s 2020 Art Prize has just opened and it’s back, bigger and better than ever!

Long-time readers of the blog would know that Bluethumb, Australia’s largest online art gallery, launched its very own art prize several years ago. More than just an award, their art prize is designed to support artists in building their future.

This year, there are more prize categories, bigger prizes and a judge line up that’s sure to impress. 

Here to tell us more is Freddy Grant, Bluethumb’s Art Prize Director.

Related article: 10 Australian abstract artists to discover and love on Bluethumb
Related article: Freya Powell’s vibrant floral artworks will stun you

Bluethumb new gallery space sign

“It was so important to us that we bring back the Bluethumb Art Prize this year because of what a strange year it’s been. So many art prizes and events have either been cancelled or rescheduled leaving many artists’ calendars empty. We wanted to fill this space with something positive for Australian creatives to look forward to,” says Freddy.

“Thanks to partnering with 1 Denison, Grand Designs Australia Magazine and Eckersley’s Art & Craft, we’re offering once-in-a-lifetime prize packages that will make 2021 an incredible year for the winning artists. Not to mention it’s free to enter, ridiculously easy — pretty much one click — and judged by a panel of renowned artists including the legendary Ken Done. Why wouldn’t you enter?!” 

The categories

Interested in entering? We bet you are! There are more categories than ever and as Freddy explains, they’re being as inclusive as possible. 

“This year we have the widest range of categories, giving more artists the opportunity to step into the spotlight,” says Freddy. “And we’re being as flexible as possible. For example, if you’re an artist who mainly paints animals, you can enter the portrait or landscape category depending on the composition. 

“Also new this year is the Artists’ Choice Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft. This will be voted for by the 11,000+ artists using Bluethumb — who better to judge? We can’t wait to see who comes out on top!”

The official categories are:

  • Abstract Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Landscape Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Portrait Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Still Life Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Photography Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • People’s Choice Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
  • Artists’ Choice Award sponsored by Eckersley’s Art & Craft
Artist in studio
Artist Kristine Lubinski at work in her studio, just one of the Bluethumb artists we’ve featured

The prizes

Thanks to the sponsors 1 DenisonGrand Designs Australia Magazine and Eckersley’s Art & Craft, Bluethumb are offering more prizes than ever this year and a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for artists.

“Each category award winner will be invited to exhibit at the Bluethumb Art Prize Winners exhibition at 1 Denison next year. They’ll also receive a $500 Eckersley’s Art & Craft gift voucher to stock up on art supplies, plus a Bluethumb marketing package worth $1,000 to further boost their online presence and sales. 

“As if that wasn’t already enough, the winners will be featured in a 4-page editorial about them and the prize in Grand Designs Australia Magazine in January 2021. With all these sought-after prizes along with the notoriety of winning, our category award winners are sure to have an incredible 2021!”

The 2 category award winners with the highest scores will also win the top cash prizes.

  • $10,000 Bluethumb Art Prize sponsored by 1 Denison
  • $2,000 Bluethumb Art Prize Runner-Up Award sponsored by Grand Designs Australia Magazine

Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s talk about how to enter!

Bluethumb's 2020 Art Prize
Kim Hyunji accepting her award at the 2018 Bluethumb Art Prize. She’s now a rising global artist

How to enter

Forget lengthy nomination processes, Bluethumb has designed this art prize to be super simple to enter.

  1. Create an artist profile on Bluethumb which is free.
  2. Tick the checkbox next to the artwork they would like to nominate for the prize.

It’s really that simple!

Important stuff

There is only 1 entry per artist so take time to consider what piece represents your work best (you can easily change your entry before 31 October if you change your mind though by ticking the box next to a different artwork 😉 ).

You must be an artist based in Australia (but you do not have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident).

Entries close on 31 October 2020.

Why you should enter!

If you love to create art, you are an artist. We know how uncomfortable it can feel to put yourself out there but rest assured, even the most beginner artists are welcome to enter this art prize.

“There are no restrictions! Everyone can enter. All you need to do is set up a Bluethumb account — which is free,” says Freddy.

After entries close on 31 October 2020, there will be a shortlisting process.

“The shortlisting is done on 1st November when entries have closed by our Bluethumb team of experts, including Art Advisor Amélia Davis, Interior Designer Alexandra Stavrou, Content Manager Megan George and myself. We then hand over our top 180 to the expert judges and open the voting for the People’s and Artists’ Choice awards,” explains Freddy.

Bluethumb's 2020 Art Prize judging panel
Bluethumb 2020’s Art Prize judge line up includes Ken Done, Kim Leutwyler, Blak Douglas and Kim Hyunji

The judges

This year’s Bluethumb Art Prize will be judged by some of Australia’s most renowned artists with diverse backgrounds including:

  • Ken Done: an iconic artist who needs no introduction
  • Blak Douglas: the first Indigenous artist to win the Kilgour Prize in 2019
  • Kim Leutwyler: an Archibald Prize favourite and one of the top 50 most influential LGBTIQ+ allied Australians (Cosmopolitan)
  • Gavin Wanganeen: Australian Football League (AFL) legend, acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artist and Aboriginal activist
  • Bindi Cole Chocka: award-winning photographer, including the Victorian Indigenous Art Award, and one of Melbourne’s top 100 most influential people (The Age)
  • Kim Hyunji: the Bluethumb Art Prize 18 winner and international rising star
  • April Ossington: the editor of Grand Designs Australia Magazine and art aficionado.

I would always encourage people to paint and draw to express what they feel — especially in these difficult times. Painting and drawing seem to be an even more important way of using lockdown time to process what’s happening in the world. The Bluethumb Art Prize is a great encouragement, and such a wonderful reminder that good things can still come out of this year.

says judge Ken Done

Due to COVID restrictions and uncertainty, the awards night will be held virtually on Bluethumb’s Instagram as a Live event on Thursday 26 November 2020. Thousands will tune in to discover this year’s award winners and the exhibitions for winners will happen in early 2021 at 1 Denison. 

So, what are you waiting for?! It’s time to get into the studio and create a Bluethumb artist profile to enter this fabulous art prize! You can find more information about Bluethumb’s 2020 Art Prize on their website here.

Discover Bluethumb artists we’ve featured

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