2019 Archibald Prize exhibition opens to public Saturday 23 January in Coffs Harbour

2019 Archibald Prize winner Tony Costa, pictured with his painting ‘Lindy Lee’ at the Art Gallery of NSW, will present a talk on his winning artwork at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery on Saturday. Photo: AGNSW, Diana Panuccio.


AUSTRALIA’S most prestigious portraiture exhibition will open in Coffs Harbour on Saturday 23 January, with the Archibald Prize 2019 regional tour stopping in the area on its final leg of a year-long tour.

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Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture, portraying prominent Australian subjects including musicians, actors, sporting heroes, authors, politicians, celebrities and artists.

Amongst the 2019 Archibald artworks are paintings of actor David Wenham by Tessa MacKay, former ballet dancer and director of Queensland Ballet Li Cunxin by Jun Chen, Anh Do’s portrait of artist George Gittoes, and a portrait of media commentator Annabel Crabb by Jordan Richardson.

A drawcard for audiences, the prize has been awarded to many of Australia’s most renowned artists and demonstrates the evolving definitions of portraiture.

Archibald Prize finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW before embarking on a year-long regional tour.

The regional tour has now stopped in Coffs Harbour, with the exhibition opening to the public at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery tomorrow.

“Hosting the Archibald 2019 exhibition is a major achievement for Coffs Harbour, with this being the first time the whole exhibition has been exhibited in our community,” Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery coordinator Cath Fogarty said.

“Due to the limited size of the Gallery, some of the works won’t fit in the current space, so to ensure our culture-loving community can experience the entire exhibition, we’ve secured space at Culture Hub upstairs in Coffs Central, thanks to the generosity of Gowings.

“In 2021 the Archibald Prize celebrates its centenary, coinciding with our own Regional Gallery’s 20 year anniversary. It heralds an exciting transition to the larger purpose-built gallery space planned for our city centre, as our current gallery is too small to accommodate many exhibitions.”

The exhibition will be officially opened by Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight, together with the Art Gallery of NSW Director of Public Engagement Miranda Carroll.

2019 Archibald Prize Winner Tony Costa will also make a special appearance during the opening weekend.

Giving the exhibition a fresh local flavour, are portraits by Coffs Coast’s next generation of artists who entered the Coffs Harbour Young Archie Competition, to be displayed right alongside the famous Archibald finalists.

2019 Archibald Prize winner Tony Costa will share his insights into his Archibald winning work at a special artist talk on Saturday 23 January from 11.30am at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.

Those attending the talk are encouraged to arrive early to secure their place.

The Archibald Prize 2019 exhibition will be on show from Saturday 23 January to Saturday 6 March at both Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and the Culture Hub in Coffs Central Shopping Centre from 10am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday.

The Archibald Prize 2019 is an Art Gallery of New South Wales touring exhibition presented by ANZ.



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