Australia has a rich and diverse artistic scene, with all of our capital cities and regional centres playing host to an array of visual, sculptural, and photographic art galleries, centres and institutions.

If you’re an artist yourself, you may not realise that there are a whole host of art competitions available for you to share your creativity with others and showcase your talent to others. Here is a comprehensive list of Australian Art Prizes, premier through to obscure, listed by month of entry deadline. Read the details and check the links for more information on a particular award.

Magenta Artists Art & Photography Show

Dates: April 2018
Entry fee: $15 
Prize: Totally prizes over $9,000

Taking place every April, the annual Magenta Artists Art & Photography Show is a three day event held at the inland Botanical Gardens near Mildura, attracting a diverse bunch of local and touring artists and collectors.

Offering over $7000 in prizes, artists and photographers are encouraged to submit in mixed media, digital art and photography categories. 2017’s event ran from the 14-17 of April.

2017 Art Winner: Fiona Merlin

Image source: Fiona Merlin via Magenta Artists

Hadley's Art Prize

Dates: January 2018 - April 2018
Entry fee: $40

  • $100,000 Acquisitive Prize
  • $2,250 x 4 Highly Commended Prizes
  • $5,000 People’s Choice Award (non-acquisitive)

Hobart’s own Hadley’s Art Prize promotes interest in cultural tourism by sharing the work of contemporary Australian landscape artists. Finalists will be given the opportunity to sell their work, establish new industry connections and engage with the Tasmanian community.

The competition celebrates drawing, painting and printmaking by Australian artists over 18 years old. Finalists will be given the opportunity to sell their work, establish new industry connections and engage with the Tasmanian community. The winning artwork will be acquired by Hadley’s Orient Hotel for their permanent art collection.

While entries are closed for 2017, this year's exhibition will take place between 15 July - 25 August 2017 at Hadley’s Orient Hotel.

2017 Art Winner: Peter Mungkuri, Ngura Wiru (Good Country)

Image source: Fiona Merlin via Magenta Artists

Kilgour Prize

Entry Dates: Now - 29th April 2018
Entry fee: $50

  • Major prize $50,000 every year
  • People’s Choice $5,000

The Kilgour Prize is an annual art prize for figurative and portrait painting held annually by Newcastle Art Gallery. Its history dates back to 1987, when artist Jack Kilgour bequeathed funds for the creation of a major portrait art competition to be run perpetually at Newcastle Art Gallery.

2017 Winner: Cameron Stead, Between you and me

Image source: Cameron Stead via Newcastle Art Gallery

Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Award

Exhibition Dates: 1 September - 1 October 2018

  • $10,000 Sculpture Award
  • $500 People’s Choice

HIDDEN is an exhibition that takes place inside Rookwood Cemetery, showing some of Australia's best sculpture in the unique surrounds of Australia's largest cemetery. The exhibition is a platform for community participation, and while it remains respectful of its setting, it strives to de-stigmatise some of the misconceptions surrounding cemeteries as dark and intimidating places.

There isn't a formal entry process. Rather artists are encouraged to speak with the curator. 2017’s winner was Colin Fraser with Retaining Tradition in the Face of Death.

2016 Winner: Clara Adolphs, Headstones

Image source: Clara Adolphs via Hidden in Rookwood

Pro Hart Outback Art Prize

Entry Dates: 2nd April - 15th June 2018
Entry Fee: $35

  • First Prize - $15,000 Acquisitive
  • Second Prize - $2,500
  • Encouragement Award - $1,000
  • People's Choice - $500

The Pro Hart Outback Art Prize is an annual acquisitive competition which showcases work in any medium that celebrates the spirit and diversity of the Australian Outback. For the 2018 competition, exhibition dates run from 3rd August - 23rd September 2018.

Winning works are added to the nationally recognised collection at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, the oldest regional art gallery in New South Wales.

2017 Winner: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Footprint

Image source: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah via Broken Hill City Council


Entry Dates: Open Now - 18 May 2018
Entry Fee: Free with Completed Submission of Entry Form

  • $5,000 Major Prize
  • Recognition for Highly Commended & Commended works

The Youg Artists Prize is run annually by the Royal Artist Society of NSW. The competition is open to young bidding artists who are Australian Residents aged 18 to 30. All entries will be displayed in an exhibition at Lavender Bay Gallery from the 8th June until the 1st July, 2018. To be part of this art competition be sure to complete and send in your entry form. Anyone who enters the competition is exclusively offered a 10% discount for Art Classes during Terms 3 & 4 in 2018. 

Corangamarah Art Prize

Entry Closes: Friday, 17th August 2018
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $10,000

The Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery aims to provide the local communities of Cororooke and the surrounding area, with a diversity of cultural activity for all ages and abilities throughout the community.

For the Corangamarah Art Prize 2017, artists were invited to interpret the theme ‘Con.ceit’ – “a concept; that which is conceived, imagined or formed in the mind, an idea, thought, image, a personal opinion” – in any medium of 2D. The exhibition will took place at the Red Rock Regional Theatre Gallery between 7th - 28th October 2018. 

2017 Winner: Victoria Howlett, Picnic in the Hills

Image source: Victoria Howlett via Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery

Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing

Entry Dates: Open Now - June 11th, 2018
Entry Fee: $38 one entry, $48 two entries, $60 three entries.

  • Major Prize Winner - $4,000 in acquisitive prizes
  • Honourable Mention - $500
  • People’s Choice Award - $500

A long term resident of Fortitude Valley, Marie Ellis was a dressmaker who contributed a lifetime of service to the community, inspired by her love of the Girl Guide movement, children and arts. For over 60 years, she resided at what is now Jugglers Art Space.

After her passing in March 2003, the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing was established to help perpetuate Marie’s memory, and to encourage excellence in drawing as an important foundation for any arts practice.

Each year, 25 finalists are selected and displayed at the gallery during August, with winners announced at the end of the month.

Bowral Art Gallery 2018 Pirtek Still Life Prize

Entry Dates: Open Now - 2 May 2018
Entry Fee: $20 per artwork for members, $30 for non members. There is also a 30% commission on any works sold during the event.

  • People’s Choice award is valued at $500

The Pirtek Still Life Prize is a favourite with visitors to the Bowral Art Gallery and is their most popular annual exhibition. Sponsored by Pirtek Southern Highlands, this competition showcases still life in any media and draws a work of a high standard from international and local artists.

Of note, the Bowral Art Gallery hosts a number of other exhibitions annually, including the Young & Emerging Artists’ Prize, the Wingecarribee Landscape Art Prize, and the Bowral Sculpture Prize.

2017 Winner: Rowan Robertson, Celadon

Image source: Rowan Robertson via Bowral Art Gallery

Gippsland Print Award

Entry Dates: Applications Closed
Entry Fee: Free
Prizes: $5,000 (acquisitive)

The Gippsland Art Gallery first opened in 1965 and is today one of regional Victoria’s leading art galleries. Every year the gallery hosts exhibitions of historical, modern and contemporary art, and features works by artists both local and international.

The Gippsland Print Award is open to all artists living and working in Australia, for prints that have been completed since 1 September 2015. 

2015 Winner: Martin King, Dawn Survey—Indigo.

Image source: Martin King via Wellington Shire Council


Missing something?

Know of an award or art prize we’ve missed? Contact us and let us know and we'll put it on the list.

Good luck!