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Annual Art Awards – Emerald

The Central Highlands Regional Council Annual Art Awards – Emerald is the gallery’s premier art event. It attracts local and national artists and is held in August each year as part of council’s Arts around August program.

Established and emerging artists of all ages can submit entries in up to seven categories. From easel, paper-based and three-dimensional works to photography and digital art, each category comes with a $750 prize for first and $250 prize for second place.

Each year, judges award the prestigious Central Highlands Regional Council Acquisitive Award to the most outstanding work from all categories and recognise local talent with the Central Highlands Regional Council Local Artist Award

This year we are celebrating up-and-coming artists of all ages with the introduction of a new junior category for artists aged 12 years and under.

In style of an evening at the gallery, the awards night and exhibition opening has become a popular event in the Central Highlands social calendar. Artists and guests mingle over wine and platters, while nominating their favourite artwork for the People’s Choice Award.


Key dates 2021

16 July 2021: Entries close. Entry form, fees, images of artworks and artwork statements due.
28 July 2021: Final date for delivery of artworks.
6 August 2021: Official opening and award presentations at Emerald Art Gallery.
6 August to 15 September: Exhibition open at Emerald Art Gallery.
17 and 18 September: Works to be collected from Emerald Art Gallery.

  • Award categories

    Category one | Easel-based works

    Artworks can be any medium, including mixed media, acrylic, oil, collage, print and more. Artworks should be on a non-paper-based support.

    Category two | Works on paper

    Artworks must be on paper and can include drawings, watercolour, collage, mixed media, print and more.

    Category three | Three-dimensional works

    Artworks can be freestanding or wall hung and include pottery, sculpture, maquette, carving, assemblage, timber, metal, stone, plastic, fibre, mosaic and more.

    Category four | Photography

    Non-manipulated photography.

    Category five | Digital art

    Digital art and manipulated photography.

  • Judges' awards

    Central Highlands Regional Council Acquisitive Award

    Selected by judges, the Central Highlands Regional Council Acquisitive Award is open to any entries in categories one to five. It comes with a $4,000 prize.

    Central Highlands Regional Council Local Artist Award

    Selected by judges, the Central Highlands Regional Council Local Artist Award is open to any entries in categories one to five by artists who live in the Central Highlands region. It comes with a $500 prize (non-acquisitive).

    Margaret Gibson Youth Award

    Selected by judges, the Margaret Gibson Youth Award is open to entries in categories one to five by artists between 13 and 18 years of age. The award comes with a $250 prize.

    People’s Choice Award

    Voted by guests at the opening and awards presentation night, the People’s Choice Award comes with a $250 prize.

  • Terms and conditions

    The Central Highlands Regional Galleries (CHRG) is the proud organiser of the Central Highlands Regional Council Annual Art Awards – Emerald.

    General information and eligibility

    1. Entrants must be Australian residents.
    2. All works and concepts must be the original, bona fide and unaided work of the entrant and created during the twelve months prior to the awards.
    3. A limit of TWO (2) entries only per exhibitor, per category will be accepted.
    4. If an artwork has previously won an art gallery award, it is ineligible for entry.
    5. Each entry must be clearly marked on the back or underside with
      • name
      • title of work
      • category
      • sale price of work (including GST).
      • if work is not for sale (NFS), a value is required for insurance purposes.
    6. No work may be eligible for more than one prize or category, except for the Acquisitive Award and the Youth Encouragement Award.
    7. Collaborative works: all artists must be named and consent for entry. Any prize money will be allocated equally between the group entrants.
    8. Artworks marked “not for sale (NFS)” will not be eligible for the Acquisitive Award.
    9. To be eligible for the Youth Award, entrants must be between 13 and 18 years of age before the date of entry and be a Central Highlands resident.
    10. The council reserves the right to reproduce works for the purposes of marketing and promotion of the Central Highlands Regional Council Annual Art Awards – Emerald, and shall not be liable to pay any fee, royalty, commission or any other form of remuneration to any exhibitor for such rights.
    11. Acquisitions will be at the discretion of the council’s selection panel and judge(s), and in line with the council’s Art Collection Policy. Any acquired work becomes part of the council’s art collection.
    12. The recipient of the Acquisitive Award agrees to accept the prize pool of $4000 and forfeit any differences with relation to sale price.
    13. The council is not registered for GST; therefore, commissions and entry fees do not include GST.
    14. Exhibitors are advised that if you are registered for GST, then it is your responsibility to include GST in your sale price. If you win a prize, GST will not be added to the prize money.
    15. All works that require hanging must be framed professionally and/or prepared for hanging with two D-rings attached to the frame. 3D works that require hanging must have suitable hanging mounts.
    16. Unframed work will NOT be accepted. Gallery-standard stretched, edged canvases are considered framed and will require D-rings for hanging purposes. Thin canvases must be framed.
    17. Hanging works must not exceed an area of 1.25m2, framed. Standing works must not exceed 1m2 floor space unless prior approval sought.
    18. Efforts will be made to hang all entries. If entries exceed available exhibition space the curator reserves the right to select final artwork hung for the exhibition. The artists involved will be informed.
    19. All artworks must be touch-dry and cured to gallery standard.
    20. CHRG reserves the right to exclude any work deemed to not meet the standards of the exhibition.
    21. CHRG reserves the right to change the competition category of any artwork deemed to have been entered into the incorrect category.


    1. The judge(s) will be selected by the council.
    2. All accepted artworks will be judged.
    3. The judge(s) reserves the right to not award a prize in any category if no entries are considered suitable.
    4. The judge(s) reserves the right to disqualify an artwork that, in their opinion, is copied or incorrectly entered.
    5. The judge’s decision, in conjunction with the council’s CEO, is final and no correspondence will be entered. Individual feedback will not be provided.

    Delivery and collection

    1. A non-refundable $15.00 fee per entry must be received with the entry form and attachments. Late payments will not be accepted and will result in applications being withdrawn.
    2. Artwork must be delivered to the Emerald Art Gallery, 65 Egerton Street, Emerald 4720 by the due date. Weekend submissions are by arrangement only. Late artworks will not be accepted.
    3. All artworks will be available for personal collection at the end of the exhibition. Entries not collected within six weeks of that date will become the property of the Emerald Art Gallery unless prior arrangement has been made.
    4. Artworks will only be released upon proof of identification.

    Insurance and freight

    1. Council takes care in exhibiting and handling entries; however, accepts no liability for any loss or damage, either in transit, during installation or while on display.
    2. Forward and return freight is the responsibility of the artist to arrange and pay direct to the courier or transport company. Artworks not received by the specified delivery date will not be judged or exhibited and entry fees will be forfeited. Return freight must be prepaid. Consignment notes, prepaid vouchers or stamps etc. must be enclosed with the entry form. CHRG will not be responsible for storage or transportation of such artworks.
    3. If return freight is required, a consignment note, receipt number, stamps, prepaid voucher etc. is to be forwarded with artwork and/or entry fee. If monies for freight are not enclosed, artwork will be returned at artist’s expense.
  • 2020 Winners

    Central Highlands Regional Council Acquisitive Award 

    ‘Breaking News’ by Jemma Ryan

    Central Highlands Regional Council Local Artist Award 

    ‘Goondoye Love’ by Janine Hill 




    Margaret Gibson Youth Award 

    ‘One’s Own’ by Lucy Thommason 




    People’s Choice Award 

    ‘Girl in the Rain’ by Michelle Gray and Raelene Bock





    Category 1 – Easel based works – any medium 

    First prize 

    ‘Focus on the Light’ by Catherine Boreham





    Second prize 

    ‘A Pair of Galahs’ by Randelle McClure 





    Highly commended 

    ‘Above the Crowd (Emergent Leaders) by Elena Churilova 




    Category 2 – Works on paper 

    First prize 

    ‘I See You Too!’ by Randelle McClure 





    Second prize 

    ‘Cooee Bay’ by Jet James 




    Category 3 – 3D Works 

    First prize 

    ‘Girl in the Rain’ by Michelle Gray and Raelene Bock 





    Second prize 

    ‘Gasco Sign’ by Jeff Bowerman 




    Category 4 – Photography 

    First prize 

    ‘Western Storm’ by Tricia Godwin 





    Second prize 

    ‘Twilight on Water’ by Glen Wright 




    Category 5 – Digital art 

    First prize 

    ‘Narnia’ by Jemma Ryan 





    Second prize 

    ‘What Lies Beneath’ by Glen Wright 

  • 2019 Winners


    Category One (Easel-based works)

    • First: Elena Churilova, Back to Nature
    • Second: Sandra Biggin, Spring’s Glory
    •  Highly commended: Garry Andrews, Mt Ball Central QLD
    Category Five (Digital art)

    • First: Glen Wright, Blue Door
    • Second: Glen Wright, Ebb and Flow
    Category Two (Works on paper)

    • First: Jet James, The Gift
    • Second: Shona Nicholls, Sunrise with Magpies
    • Highly commended: Joanne Kerr, Sepia Landscape
    Central Highlands Regional Council Acquisitive Award

    • Andrea Chapman, It’s About Time


    Category Three (3D works)

    • First: Lachlan Grierson, Industrial Protea Lamp
    • Second: Raelene Bock and Michelle Gray, Perpetual Abundance
    • Highly commended: Leonie Geary, Beachcomber coffee table
    Central Highlands Regional Council Local Artist Award

    • Lachlan Grierson, Industrial Protea Lamp


    Category Four (Photography)

    • First: Pam Bartlett-Munt, Ataahua Awaawa (Beautiful Valley)
    • Second: Jemma Ryan, Facing the Storms
    • Highly commended: Karen Galea, Hell on the Freeway
    Margaret Gibson Youth Award

    • Beau Ingram, Skogafoss Waterfall

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