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Outback Archies competition to celebrate 10 years in 2020

Artist Chris Kunko with his artwork, Trotting Over Kangaroo Ribs, which was exhibited in the 2019 Outback Archies, Packing Room Prize. Photo: Supplied.
Artist Chris Kunko with his artwork, Trotting Over Kangaroo Ribs, which was exhibited in the 2019 Outback Archies, Packing Room Prize. Photo: Supplied.

Entries are starting to roll in for the annual Outback Archies competition, with organisers also excited to celebrate the event's 10 year milestone in 2020.

Run by Outback Arts, the annual art prize and exhibition showcases the talented creatives within regional NSW and brings them together to inspire one another as well as providing emerging artists with a platform to boost their profile.

Outback Arts strive to support artists by providing opportunities to exhibit and showcase their work locally as well as in metro galleries by securing exhibition opportunities.

To celebrate the 10 year anniversary, organisers have decided to extend the entry area to include the Warrumbungle and Gilgandra Shires, Moree, Narrabri and Broken Hill, Central Darling Shire and Wentworth Shire.

To top it off, a curated selection of artworks will be hitting the road in 2021, touring the Outback Arts region and beyond.

Communications and Touring Coordinator for Outback Arts, Maddi Ward said it is amazing to celebrate this milestone and to know that after 10 years the event is still loved.

"Both artist and the community are excited about it every year, it just seems to grow. The theme of 'Legends and Landscapes' has remained the same during this time which has proven to be well-lasting," she said.

The member for Outback Arts said they will be looking to see a diverse range of works in this year's competition and exhibition.

"Especially with the year being so different to how many people expected it to be, who knows what we will end up with," Ms Ward said.

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Despite COVID-19 causing much uncertainty around events, Ms Ward thinks they will see a good number of entries in this year's competition because people are craving a creative outlet.

"People have been at home more and maybe had a bit more time over the school holidays as well to maybe reconnect with art that they had not been able to do in a while," she said.

"We've already started receiving entries and its only just opened so that's a positive sign as well."

A new category has also been added to include young artists, dubbed the Young Outback Archies Prize.

Young people under the age of 15 years can now enter in their very own category.

Having the new category, plus extending the entry area will hopefully create a sense of encouragement across the regions, who are suffering from the effects of COVID-19, but also the drought, Ms Ward said.

"There will be that injection of different art and artists that people may not have seen before in the Archies," she said.

Entries for pre-selection opened July, 20, and close August, 28 with the exhibition scheduled to run from October 5 to November, 13.