Member for Lismore Thomas George today encouraged Aboriginal artists born in or living as residents of New South Wales to enter the 2012 Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize an annual acquisitive prize of $40,000, awarded to the finest example of contemporary Aboriginal art in New South Wales.

Mr George said entries are now open, and will be accepted up until Friday 3rd August 2012.

"Everyone from professional to emerging artists have the opportunity to compete for the coveted Prize, and for the chance to be included in an exhibition of finalists at Parliament House throughout October," said Mr George.

"Now in its eighth year, the Prize is the largest combined art prize currently on offer for Aboriginal artists, featuring not only the main cash prize, but also a professional development program and generous student scholarships through the College of Fine Arts, UNSW.

"The Prize contributes over $160,000 to help foster the continued growth and development of Aboriginal art in New South Wales. This has been made possible through a joint partnership between the Parliament of NSW, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Arts NSW, the College of Fine Arts and newest event partner, Coal & Allied.," Mr George said.

Previous winners of the award include Esme Timbery, Roy Kennedy, Danny Eastwood and the Euraba Artists and Papermakers. The 2011 prize was awarded to Leanne Tobin, for her stirring work Defending Country.

"It is life changing, not just for me but also for Darug people," Ms Tobin said.

"We have been working to try and get recognition in our country and to now have this painting in Parliament House has such significance for us. We have had people in the mountains crying with happiness over it. It is a really big win for Darug people," she said.

Entrants can also choose to be considered for the College of Fine Arts Professional Development Award - a two week residency at the College, featuring a solo exhibition at COFAspace in 2013. Past winners have included Graham Davis King, Fabri Blacklock, Penny Evans, Frances Belle Parker and the 2011 recipient, David Nolan.

The Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize will be open for entries until Friday, 3rd August 2012. For more information on eligibility criteria and for full terms and conditions of entry please contact Campbelltown Arts Centre on 02 4645 4100 or by email to artscentre@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

An electronic version of the entry form is also available at http://www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au/CampbelltownArtsCentre

The 2012 Prize is currently on a tour of regional New South Wales, which has included showings at the Muswellbrook Regional Gallery and Brewarrina Visitor Information and Cultural Centre, with the next stops being the Grafton Regional Gallery (4th July 24th August 2012) and the Tamworth Regional Gallery (15th September 20th October 2012).

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.