The Lester Prize is one of the country’s most recognised and prestigious fine art prizes – an award that places artists and community proudly front-and-centre.
The prize pool available to professional, emerging and young artists is now worth over $100,000, including the main prize of $50,000.
This year's forty finalists were chosen from more than 750 entries received from artists across Australia. 22 of the 40 finalists are emerging artists, seven former finalists including 2 previous winners have made it the final list. 12 finalists are from Western Australia.
This year’s Main Awards Panel comprised of Western Australian artist Tom Muller; AGWA Associate Curator, Projects Isobel Wise; Emilia Galatis; Helen Turner and Jim Cathcart.
The winners were announced on 15 October at the Main Awards Night at AGWA. The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture 2021 winner was Sidney Tapia for his portrait of Siaosi Feiloakitau titled Through You.
Other Lester Prize winners announced at the Awards Night included: Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize: Emily Song Dumplings; Ashurst Emerging Artist: Illyampi Victor Burton Mamu; Oxlades Highly Commended: Narelle Zeller Brave new worker and Oxlades Highly Commended: Sally Ryan Never again.
This year's prize pool consists of:
• The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture (selected by a panel of judges) | $50,000 Cash
• Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers) | $15,000 Cash
• Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize (selected by Minderoo Foundation) | $10,000 cash
• People’s Choice Prize kindly donated by the Baldock Family (selected by the general public) | $10,000 Cash
• Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize (selected by our judges) | $5,000 cash
• Barton Family Foundation Installers’ Prize (chosen by AGWA's installation team) | $5000
• Oxlades Highly Commended x 2 (selected by a panel of judges) | $2,000 cash, $550 domestic art transport, $500 art framing voucher plus $250 art supplies voucher each
The finalists’ artworks will be on display in AGWA's Centenary Galleries from 16 October to 29 November 2021.