Record numbers having a Gogh at Ipswich Art Awards 2023

The 2023 Ipswich Art Awards have reached new heights, with a record 427 artists entering 570 artworks – smashing last year’s record of 203 artists and 352 entries.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the Ipswich Art Awards are the city’s most prestigious arts honour, with the calibre of entries lifting each year.

“Ipswich has a thriving and diverse arts scene, and it’s inspiring to see so many entries from both emerging and established artists,” Cr Fechner said.

“The incredible number of entries this year has exceeded our expectations and will now be shown across two floors at council’s administration building at 1 Nicholas Street between Saturday 27 May to Saturday 3 June.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see each year the richness of diversity and talent in our city’s art scene, and I expect many of the new names we see in this year’s exhibition to become household names in the future.”

Entries include Ipswich Australia Day Awards Cultural Award winner Robin ‘Tallman’ Wakkajinda; Glen Smith, who is the president of Artsconnect, and last year’s People’s Choice Award winner Kate Douglas who was selected as a finalist in the 2022 Whitsundays Art Prize and the 2022 John Lesile Art Prise and Grant Quinn who currently has a solo exhibition at Ipswich Art Gallery.

The 2023 Ipswich Art Awards has nine categories including a People’s Choice, with winners in each category to receive $1,500 prize money plus a Best of Show winner receiving $3,000.

The 2023 exhibition will also include new artwork from last year’s Best in Show category winner Kaitlyn Turner who has since been an Artists in Residence at the Ipswich Art Gallery teaching other creatives life drawing and colour mixing techniques.

This year’s entries will be judged by Rachel Arndt and Anna Thurgood.

Ms Arndt has more than 20 years of experience – in Australia and internationally – working with significant cultural collections and of curating, developing and presenting exhibitions and public programs in both major cultural institutions and regional gallery contexts. She currently leads The Condensery in regional Toogoolawah.

Ms Thurgood spent nine years with Artspace Mackay first as a curator and then Director. She continues to curate and bring stories to life in her current role at the State Library of Queensland.

The record number of entries in this year’s awards, together with an anticipated rise in crowd numbers, mean changes will be made to the awards presentation on 26 and 27 May.

“To accommodate the high number of artworks entered, for the first time, opening night on Friday 26 May will be an artists and judges only event,” Cr Fechner said.

“In celebration of the winners, a second public event – Ipswich Art Awards Up Late – has been added for Saturday 27 May.”

The 2023 Ipswich Art Awards Up Late event will be from 6pm at 1 Nicholas Street and include music and canapes. Tickets to the event are $25 and available via

Ipswich Art Gallery Director Claire Sourgnes said the diversity and level of interest reflects the appetite for the arts in Ipswich.

“Ipswich Art Awards will showcase the very best of the Ipswich creative community with examples of drawing, mixed media, new media, painting, watercolour, photography, print making and three dimensional work,” Ms Sourgnes said.

“The Ipswich arts scene continues to expand and mature and I encourage the community to enjoy the many wonderful artworks on display at this year’s exhibition.”

In addition to the Up Late event, the 2023 Ipswich Art Awards exhibition at 1 Nicholas Street will be open to the public to view and purchase artwork from Saturday 27 May to Sunday 3 June. It is open Monday to Friday 10am to 3.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm.

Entry to the exhibition is free.

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