14 November 2016 Kerry Johns Wins Tenth EMSLA Prize

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14 November 2016 Kerry Johns Wins Tenth EMSLA Prize

2016 EMSLA Winner Kerry Johns with 'Flowers in a window'

Canberra artist Kerry Johns has won this year’s $20,000 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery with ‘Flowers in a window’.

“I am overwhelmed and so pleased to receive this award,” said Johns who also won the chance to exhibit at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. “There are so many wonderful paintings in this exhibition and I am honoured to have been chosen by the judges. I have been working away quietly for over 20 years and to receive this recognition means a lot to me.”

The EMSLA $20,000 art award encourages excellence and innovation in Australian still life painting. It was the vision of Dr Mal Eutick who wanted to honour the memory of his parents while contributing to the artistic and cultural life of Coffs Harbour.

“The entries were, again, of an incredibly high calibre,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight. “Kerry Johns’ work will now join the growing collection of EMSLA winners held by the Regional Gallery. The city is very proud to be the home of the EMSLA prize and collection.”

This year’s judges were Nat Thomas, the artist and arts writer/cultural commentator, Michael Fitzgerald, writer and editor of Art Monthly Australasia and Dr Julie Fragar, Associate Lecturer, Fine Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. The judges unanimously agreed that ‘Flowers in a window’ displayed a quietly innovative approach to the still life genre and displayed an inviting depth of colour and energy.

Artist Andrea Heulin from Cairns was awarded the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award Highly Commended for her work ‘pantry stuff’.  Guy Gilmour from Coramba was awarded the Mike Blewitt Coffs Coast Local Artist prize with his work ‘Tools’ and artist Jeannette Keough was named Highly Commended for ‘studio window’.

The Eutick Memorial Still Life Award receives hundreds of entries every year from across Australia.

“The judges said it was a very difficult choice in a field of excellent work,” said Abigail Moncrieff, Acting Curator of the Gallery.  “This year we had over 220 entries from all over Australia and the 68 finalists include notable artists such as Leo Coyte, Laura Jones, Monika Behrens, Samuel Condon, Graham Marchant, Robyn Sweaney, Madeline Preston and Chris Hundt.”

The Exhibition Opening Weekend featured a Festival with panel discussions about the still life genre, as well as classical musical performances in the Gallery space.

The EMSLA exhibition ​will run until Saturday, January 7, 2017 at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.