Claremont award helps Perth artist go pro

Self-taught Nedlands artist Brendan Lewis credits the Town of Claremont’s annual Art Award and Exhibition with helping him go pro.

Brendan won last year’s first prize for his stunning watercolour portrait of his little brother, Isaac.

As well as taking home $5,000 in prize money, Brendan’s piece – entitled ‘Astro Boy’ – became part of the Town of Claremont’s art collection, and is now on permanent display in the council chambers.

Brendan said winning the Art Award helped him develop his love of painting into a career.

“As a self-taught artist, winning last year’s Art Award and getting that recognition was so encouraging. It helped me shift from thinking of art as a hobby, to seeing it as something that I could go professional with,” Brendan said.

Since winning the award, Brendan has made strides in turning his professional dreams into a reality. He has accepted a number of commissions to create bespoke wall art and murals for both public and private clients, and was one of 15 artists selected to create an original installation at the Town of Claremont’s ARTTRA Light Festival in April.

“I really would encourage everyone to enter the Art Award, no matter where you are with your art,” Brendan added. “For me, having the opportunity to not only be part of a public exhibition, but to have my work viewed alongside WA artists whose work I really admire is incredible.”

Now in its sixth year, the Art Award and Exhibition offers WA artists the chance to win part of a $10,000 prize pool. Up to 65 framed works and 15 sculptures will be selected, judged, and displayed at the exhibition.

Mayor Jock Barker said the Art Award and Exhibition is a highlight in Perth’s winter calendar.

“The Town of Claremont is proud to support artists at every stage of their career, but never more so than in our annual Art Award and Exhibition, where as many as 70 hugely talented artists share their work with the Perth community,” Mayor Barker said.

“What makes the Art Award so special is the range of talent on display, with artwork by local residents, emerging talents, and established artists alike. And with five awards – as well as the opportunity to sell their work to exhibition attendees – it’s a fantastic opportunity for artists to reap some financial reward for their skill and hard work.”

Budding artists aged 16+ can enter the Art Award via the Town of Claremont website. Accepted mediums include acrylic, oil, print, watercolour, mixed media, pastel, textile, work on paper, and sculpture.

Entries close on Friday 19 July, with the exhibition opening to the public on 31 August.
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