Volunteer in running for premier art prize

When Brian Hatch started volunteering at the Redland Art Gallery Cleveland six years ago, little did he know he would go on to become a finalist in the City’s premier painting prize.

“I came down here eight years ago and thought ‘what a lovely gallery’, so I decided to volunteer and put something back into it,’’ Brian, an award-winning printmaker and graphic artist as well as a painter, said.

“But this is my first time as an entrant in the Redland Art Award. As I lived here, I just thought I would give it a go, so I am very pleased as I knew it would be hard to get a painting selected as a finalist.’’

Brian, of Cleveland, is among notable company as a finalist in the acquisitive awards, with works by four-time finalists Gladdy Kemarre and Robert Malherbe, 2012 winner Claudine Marzik and Queensland College of Art’s Professor of Fine Art Mostyn Bramley-Moore also selected.

Six of the 50 finalists, whose works will be exhibited at the gallery next month, are from the Redlands. The national contemporary painting prize, presented by Redland Art Gallery as a major Redland City Council initiative, is open to all Australian artists and drew more than 250 entries.

Mayor Karen Williams said the prestigious biennial event underscored the City’s reputation as a significant regional arts centre.
“It’s now in its 29th year and the continuing quality of entries shows just how highly it is regarded,’’ Cr Williams said.

Redland City Council’s art spokesman Cr Lance Hewlett (Division 4) said the acquisitive first prize of $15,000, with $4000 for the runner-up, ranked the Redland Art Award highly on the national cultural calendar.

“Brian, who entered his abstract work Above and Beyond, has been quite an asset to the gallery since he joined its installation crew. As an accomplished artist and pioneer of printmaking in Australia, he brings us a lot of expertise,’’ Cr Hewlett said.

“As well as our gallery, Brian also is represented in the collections of National and Queensland galleries and the Queensland College of Art.

Brian, 80 next month, agreed that he had “hung a few shows’’ in his life after running his own gallery.

 “And I have been fortunate to have had two exhibitions in the Cleveland gallery, so it is most rewarding to be selected as a finalist and once again have my work on display here,’’ he said.

The Art Prize finalists will go on display at the gallery from Sunday 12 October. Redland Art Awards 2014 is sponsored by Redland Yurara Art Society Inc, Stark Creations and Sirromet Wines.

There also will be an exhibition of Brian’s work at the Redland Performing Art Centre from 10 October to 7 November (noon-4pm weekdays, 10am-1pm Saturdays).

For more information, contact Redland Art Gallery on (07) 3829 8484.