Winners of 2019 Hawkesbury Art Prize announced

Hawkesbury artist Greg Hansell has been awarded one of two Highly Commended prizes in the 2019 Hawkesbury Art Prize with his painting, Thompson Square Windsor and to the North West.

Winner: Ben Tankard with his painting, Aussie As 2, was announced the winner of the 2019 Hawkesbury Art Prize. Pictures: Supplied/Purple Noon Gallery.

Winner: Ben Tankard with his painting, Aussie As 2, was announced the winner of the 2019 Hawkesbury Art Prize. Pictures: Supplied/Purple Noon Gallery.

Nearly 300 entries were received in the 2019 competition from every state and territory in Australia, with 40 finalists invited to exhibit their works for judging and sale at Purple Noon Gallery, Freemans Reach.

Ben Tankard from the Blue Mountains was announced the winner of the prize at the exhibition opening on Saturday, September 14 with his painting titled Aussie As 2. He was awarded $10,000 plus art residency at Glenhuntly Estate.

The three eminent judges - Art Curator at Western Sydney University Monica McMahon, well-known artist Alan Somerville, and popular contemporary artist Laura Jones - were unanimous in their decision, but agreed that the judging was very difficult.

Hawkesbury artist Greg Hansell with his painting, Thompson Square Windsor and to the North West.

Hawkesbury artist Greg Hansell with his painting, Thompson Square Windsor and to the North West.

The Hawkesbury Art Prize calls on artists to submit entries that embrace the theme of contemporary Australian identity.

Frances Feasey was awarded the second Highly Commended prize with her work Back-Burning Blue, while the four Commended awards went to Victoria's Benjamin Aitken (Wardandi Yok), Kate Dorrough (The river is part of me), Anh Nguyen (Pho by myself) and Clare Purser of Queensland (Towards the Island, Morton Bay).

This year the hardworking volunteers/committee awarded a $500 Packers' Prize, which also went to Frances Feasey.

The Hawkesbury Art Prize was initiated in 2011 and is a national competition open to all Australian residents over 18 years of age. It is structured as a social enterprise and set up as a not for profit organisation, returning profits to art and/or disadvantage in the community.

Prizes are donated by sponsors. The exhibition will run until October 6.

Robyn Williams of Purple Noon Gallery, artist Frances Feasey and Macquarie MP Susan Templeman.

Robyn Williams of Purple Noon Gallery, artist Frances Feasey and Macquarie MP Susan Templeman.