Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize encourages diversity in contemporary painting

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Andrea Simpson

With only a few weeks to go until entries close for the 2018 Prize, organisers are excited about the diverse ways painters are using the medium.
Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize encourages diversity in contemporary painting

Image: Snow, Michael Vale, 2017 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize winner. Courtesy Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize.

The Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (BAAP) is an annual prize and exhibition open nationally, and celebrating the medium of painting. With only a few weeks to go before the Prize closes for 2018, organisers are keen for entries. Experimental and exploratory artworks are especially encouraged.

‘The diversity is strong in contemporary painting, as expected,’ said Michael Brennan, Curator of the Gallery at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre.

Brennan is enthralled by the breadth of talent revealed by the Prize’s application process. ‘Previous years have proven that there is a multitude of ways the painters are using the medium, and the themes and approaches are diverse,’ he said.

Enter the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize  

Offering an annual prize pool of $19,000, this exhibition which results from Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize is not to be missed.

‘The Art Prize has been growing for some years, and this year is no exception. Even at this early stage, it's looking like we are going to have a really strong response,’ Brennan told ArtsHub.

He encouraged artists from across Australia to enter. ‘The Art Prize is an ideal platform for emerging artists and established artists to be seen side-by-side. I think it’s a great opportunity to have your work under the eyes of some of the really esteemed professional guest judges that we have.’

The prizes

  • $15,000 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize
  • $3,000 Local Art Prize
  • $1,000 People's Choice Prize

Last year’s winning acquisition Snow by Melbourne-based artist Michael Vale (pictured above) awed the judges with its dynamic use of the medium, and its fascinating interpretation of the inner workings of the psyche.

Brennan, speaking on behalf of the judging panel, said that Vale’s work provides an unsettling view into the unconscious.

‘This accomplished work is populated with curious figures gathering at the point between day and night. The viewer is left to find their own place within this complex narrative,’ he said.

Competitions such as Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize encourage artists to challenge modern perceptions of painting – emboldening artists to re-invent and reinvigorate the medium, and creating an environment where there are no restrictions on creativity.

Brennan said, ‘I think that the diversity we see in visual art is a tell-tale sign that there aren’t really any limitations on what the artists are doing with the medium.’

Important dates for your calendar

  • Applications for entry to the 2018 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize close: 5pm, Thursday 15 February 2018
  • Finalists will be notified by: Friday 31 March 2018
  • Announcement and official opening of the 2018 Acquisitive Art Prize Exhibition: 6:00 – 8:00pm, Thursday 17 May 2018

The finalists’ work will be exhibited at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre’s Gallery in the Brighton Town Hall (corner of Carpenter and Wilson Streets, Brighton) from Friday 18 May to Sunday 8 July, 2018.

Entries close 5pm, Thursday 15 February 2018. To learn more, visit

About the author

Andrea Simpson is ArtsHub's Feature Writer and Reviews Editor. Andrea is a Filipino-Australian writer with a love for diverse Australian stories. She is curious about all forms of art, though she has an especially keen interest in the publishing sector.

Andrea has had short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel.  

You can follow Andrea on Instagram @andi_jayyy