An art prize that pushes the boundaries of painting

The $15,000 2019 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize is calling for entries, and creates a national conversation around new definitions of painting.
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The 2018 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize exhibition view; supplied.

A swell of interest has rapidly grown around the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (BAAP) in recent years, driven by artists and the Prize’s popularity with audiences.

Bayside Gallery’s Curator, Joanna Bosse noticed a significant increase in the number of applicants that entered the 2018 edition of the Prize, and has predicted that 2019 will out-do last year’s iteration.  

Why? Bosse believe it has to do with the Prize’s national reach and its recent rethinking of the parameters of painting’s definition.

Enter the 2019 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize – submissions now open

‘The national reach has improved, and we have also noticed the high calibre of artists applying. To me that indicates the more established artists have respect for the Prize, which is really heartening for us,’ Bosse told ArtsHub.

Not limited to established creatives, the $15,000 art prize encourages artists from all stages of their careers to apply.

Bosse explained that among the entries, last year’s judging panel was drawn to the work of a local artist, which they included in the Prize.  

‘She is not someone who is well-known in the contemporary art world, however she threw her hat in the ring and her work was incredibly popular for audiences,’ Bosse said. ‘[Her painting] was a very close runner to winning the People’s Choice Award.’

The 2018 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize exhibition view; supplied.

Established five years ago, the annual Prize and exhibition has not only seen an increase in applications but has grown also in terms of the conversations the Prize leads around the definition of “painting”.

Bosse explained: ‘Categorisation within contemporary art, in many ways, is redundant because contemporary practice is so inclusive. And in the last few years, there were a number of works [entered in the Prize] that challenged the description of what painting is.

‘When the Prize was first established painting was defined as, “working with a liquid medium on a rigid surface”, which is a very traditional perception of painting.  Whereas this year, we had a number of works that were paintings in a liquid medium but were not necessarily on a rigid surface,’ she said. ‘We realised the definition needs to be reconceived in order to keep up with contemporary practices.’

Bosse said that it was a fantastic two-way conversation between what the artists are doing and the art Prize’s concept of painting that led to the broadening of the Prize.

‘We realised that it needed to be up-dated; it will be interesting to see whether that will have an impact.’

Bayside City Council’s unwavering support for local and national artists is also another feature of the Prize, said Bosse. ‘We are thrilled that the Council sees the Prize as directly supporting artists, and pointing out to the people in the municipality that we value artists and the work that they do.’


Along with Bosse, the 2019 The Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize will be judged by two well respected curators, Jane Devery from the National Gallery of Victoria, and Anthony Fitzpatrick from TarraWarra Museum of Art.

Applications for entry to the 2019 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize close Friday, 1 March 2019 at 5pm.

Finalists will be notified Sunday 31 March 2019.

Finalists’ works are to be delivered during Gallery hours, between Monday 14 to Saturday, 19 May 2019.

Announcement and official opening of the 2019 Acquisitive Art Prize Exhibition will take place on Thursday 23 May 2019.

The finalists’ work will be exhibited at Bayside Gallery in the Brighton Town Hall (corner of Carpenter and Wilson Streets, Brighton) from 24 May to 21 July 2019.

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