Outback Arts have celebrated 10 years of their annual Outback Archies competition.
Due to COVID-10 the event was held by invitation only at the Outback Arts gallery in Coonabmble on October 10.
The group enjoyed socially distanced mingling, locally made food, and the announcement of the annual Outback Archies prize recipients now celebrating 10 years.
Almost 70 artists feature in this year's exhibition that come from not only the Outback Arts region of Bourke, Brewarrina, Bogan, Cobar, Coonamble, Warren and Walgett shires, but also Warrumbungle and Gilgandra Shires, Moree Plains, Narrabri and the West Darling Arts region of Broken Hill City, Central Darling and Wentworth Shires.
The exhibition and art prize is all about celebrating the colour, creativity and spirit of our communities as artists explore this year's theme 'legends and landscapes'.
First place in the two-dimensional category was Vicky Murray of Lightning Ridge for her 'Small Town Boys', while second place was awarded to Lisa Wheeler of Coonamble for her series of Coolabah bark prints.
In photography, George Williams of Walgett won first prize with his portrait of his grand-draughter Zia, titled 'Old Soul'. Second place was taken by Belinda Dimarzio-Bryan of Warren for her work titled 'Kelly Power'.
The sculpture category was won by David Doyle from Broken Hill for his artwork 'Birthing Tree' with Heather Wingham-Reid of Brewarrina taking second place for her glass artwork 'Waving Grass'.
In ceramics, the top prize went to Sooty Welsh of Coonamble with for his set of vases titled 'Back on Country' with Kathy Graham of Broken Hill coming in second with her artwork 'Clay and Steel'.
A packing room prize was awarded by the staff who unpacked and installed the exhibition, which went to Jude Fleming of Warren for her artist book 'Travellin' West' and the Young Archies packing room prize went to Sarah Smith of Burren Junction for her painting 'Laughing Kookaburra'.
The first-ever young Outback Archie prize went to Montana Hodgson of Coonamble for her watercolour painting entitles 'Chino' and second place to Hannah Weber from Walgett for her portrait 'Awake and Afraid'.
The overall Outback Archies prize winner, who the judges deem have explored and represented the theme at the highest level, was awarded to Prue Cullen of Coonamble for her ceramic piece 'Blessed Mother'.
Outback Arts executive director Jamie-Lea Trindall said despite COVID-19 causing much uncertainty around events, it was great to see such diversity in this year's exhibition.
"In such a turbulent year, we were very excited to host a social event, for the artists especially, the joy the Outback Archies brings to such an extended audience each year is remarkable, as is the quality of entries," she said.
The People's Choice award will be announced at the close of the exhibition.
Ms Trindall thanked their generous sponsors and partners including: SPACE Coonabarabran and Gilgandra Shire Council, West Darling Arts, Two Rivers Pty Ltd, Campbelltown Arts Centre, NorthWest Vets and Swanny's Foods Coonamble and the contributing shire councils in the Outback Arts region.
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