A FORMER stockman is $50,000 richer after taking out the 45th Muswellbrook Art Prize on Saturday night.
Alec Baker received the highest plaudits for his fantastic painting entitled ‘Ngura (Country).
Adjudicator Tracy Cooper-Lavery admitted her role was “extremely hard”.
“There’s such a diverse range – including 26 works in the painting [section],” she said.
“It certainly wasn’t easy.
“But, I feel incredibly honoured to judge the Muswellbrook Art Prize.”
A big crowd was on hand at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre for the announcement – and official opening of the prestigious exhibition, which will continue until May 6.
Kiata Mason pocketed $10,000 after claiming the works on paper category with The Studio Chair.
The $10,000 ceramic prize went to Megan Puls for Nightshade.
“It’s great to see the response here [tonight],” Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush said.
“Twenty-three, of the 46 artists, are in attendance, which is terrific.
“We have a long tradition of attracting the best in Australian contemporary art.
“This year is no exception and features works of the highest standard in all three categories.
“Council also acknowledges the generous support of the Bengalla Mining Company for their sponsorship and ongoing commitment to the Muswellbrook Art Prize over the past 24 years.”