BIG BUCKS: Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley announces the $10,000 prize for the winner of the 2019 Art Prize.
BIG BUCKS: Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley announces the $10,000 prize for the winner of the 2019 Art Prize. Chris Burns

Businesses crowd-fund $20,000 in prizes for art comp

MORE than 20 local businesses and professionals have rallied together to support local artists by crowd-funding $20,000.

The money took two months to raise, and will cover the Bundaberg Art Prize, which is part of the festival aimed to rejuvenate the Bundaberg central business district in September.

Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley said the first prize of $10,000 would cause a "big buzz” and likely attract artists' exhibits from across the country, which will be displayed in four pop-up galleries installed in vacant shops in the week of the festival.

"It is going to elevate it to a new level,” he said.

"It is unlikely to get international (exhibits), but certainly national entries from outside the state.”

All art was welcomed including paintings, drawings, ceramics, photographs and digital media, but Mr Oakley cautioned that "explicit” material will not feature.

He said the prizes were funded by local business representatives including tradies, doctors, building companies, and lawyers.

"They really want to support the local businesses and drive the economy,” Mr Oakley said.

"It is important for the artists in the region to display and exhibit work alongside other artists, so they can be seen by the public in an exhibition.”

He said that Bundaberg artists often did not have a platform to showcase their work.

"They are often undervalued in the community and there is a really strong art community here they don't know about.”



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