Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award
Image: Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize Exhibition 2019, by Eugene Howard
Presented by Midsumma Festival and Australia Post
Since its inauguration in 2016 the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award has quickly established itself as an important award in the ecology of the arts. With finalists selected from across the country, the non-acquisitive annual award is a survey of outstanding queer artists working across mediums reflecting their potent personal and political perspectives on the world.
The art award is open nation-wide to artists in any medium, though please take into consideration the current environment in Australia. We encourage anyone in Australia to apply and talk to us if you have any concerns. Finalists' work will be exhibited as part of Midsumma Festival 2021.
- Major Award - $6000
- People’s Choice Award provided by Australia Post - $1,000
- Bundoora Art Prize Award - a paid residency / exhibition opportunity
Australia's leading queer visual arts award
In its sixth year, this selection of queer artists from across the country showcase their personal and political perspectives of the world.
Midsumma Festival is delighted to present this award and exhibition event as part of our ongoing partnership with Australia Post. Celebrating diversity and inclusion is important to Australia Post. They are committed to supporting their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer employees and driving positive change to create more inclusiveness not just throughout their workforce but throughout the wider community.
Please note: Following the Roadmap to 'COVID Normal', Midsumma enacted the “understudy-plan” to move Midsumma’s 2021 festival dates to fall between 19 April and 5 May 2021; with Midsumma Pride March planned to follow a few weeks later (dates to be announced).
Submissions open: Monday 19 October
Submissions close: Friday 27 November (midnight)
Finalists notified and announced: December 2020
Install: Midsumma Festival 2021: 26 - 27 April 2021
Exhibition Opening and Awards Announced: Opening and Awards Announced: 28 April 2021
Exhibition: 28 April - 9 May
De-install: 9 May 2021 (evening)
(dates for install and exhibition may change slightly - finalists will be notified)
Please keep in mind that this timeline may change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep checking the website for any updates or sign up to our eNews.
Winners of the 2020 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award
- Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award: Daley King – "Lipstuck"
- The Bundoora Homestead Art Award: EO Gill – "Physical"
- People's Choice: Samuele Tomasulo – "Empathic Deniability"
Finalists of the 2020 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award
Chelle Destefano | Daley King | Dan Molloy | Darcy Williams | EO Gill | Mark du Potiers | Paul Piccione | Samuele Tomasulo | TomboyBill / Matthew Schiavello (collaboration) | Wesley Dowling | Wet and Free Collective | Zoë Bastin
Winners of the 2019 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize
- Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize: Dexter Rosengrave – "The After-Image "
- Star Observer Prize: Kate Just – "Feminist Fan, #15, #19 and #26"
- The Bundoora Homestead Art Award (includes an artist fee, residency opportunity and public outcome): Sean Miles – "Māui-tikitiki-a-taranga"
- People's Choice: Paul Yore – "Deny Everything"
Judges of the Major Award of $5000 include Francis Parker (MUMA), Madé Spencer-Castle (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and Gary Starr (Australia Post's Executive General Manager, Business and Government; and PostPride Executive Sponsor).
Finalists of the 2019 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize
Alisha Abate | Alun Rhys Jones | Danielle Reynolds | Dexter Rosengrave | Ella Sowinska | Georgia Robenstone | Kate Just | Kate Power | Nicholas Smith | Olivia Koh | Paul Yore | Rosie Isaac | Sean Miles
Winners of the 2018 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize
- Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize: Tama tk Sharman – "oh my how things change rua/II_(phalloplasty for poor cunts)"
- Star Observer Prize: Lesley Turnbull – "S k i n s"
- People's Choice: Xanthe Dobbie – "21st Century Greatest Hits Screensaver Pack"
Finalists of the 2018 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize
Eureka Michael James O'Hanlon | Lesley Turnbull | Louis Fourie | Marc-O-Matic | Mark du Potiers | Meg Wilson | Peter Shepherd | Sam Foster | Sha Gaze | Sylvia Hollis | Tama tk Sharman | Xanthe Dobbie
Winners of the 2017 Midsumma Australia Art Prize
- Australia Post Art Prize: J. Rosenbaum
- Midsumma Art Prize, donated by Martin Foley MP, Member for Albert Park, Minister for Equality: Rafaella McDonald
- Star Observer Prize: Natalie Jeantou
- People's Choice Prize: Dalton Stewart
Finalists of the 2017 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize
John Brooks | Rochelle Duke | Lauren Dunn | Léuli Eshraghi | Emma Ferguson | Goldie | Brent Harrison | Justin Hinder | Selwyn Hoffmann | Natalie Jeantou | Jessica Johnson | Natasha Madden | Rafaella McDonald | Jimmy Nuttall | Rachel Jessie-Rae O'Connor | Mark Payne | J. Rosenbaum | Dalton Stewart
Finalists of the inaugural 2016 Australia Post Art Prize
Adam James David Anderson | Megan Beckwith | Alison Bennett | Daniel Burke | William Eicholtz | Emma Ferguson | Ying Huang | Jessica K | Matto Luca | Jake Preval | Frances Sergi | Issie Soudy
Judges of the Major Award of $6000 were Rhys Dodson, Service Partner Manager - Business and Government, Australia Post, Hannah Presley - Curator of Indigenous Art, NGV and Kate Just - Head of Graduate Coursework, VCA, and Visual Artist. The judge of the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Award was Boe-Lin Bastian - Curator, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre. The winner of this award won an exhibition or artist residency at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, a $1500 fee from Bundoora Homestead and $700 cash award from Midsumma.
The 2020 Winners
2020 Recipient: People's Choice Award
2020 Recipient: Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award
2020 Recipient: Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Award
Award: Exhibition or artist residency at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, a $1500 fee from Bundoora Homestead and $700 cash award from Midsumma
For the 2019 exhibition, the major award of $5000 went to Dexter Rosengrave for their HD Video "The After-Image " with the Star Observer award going to Kate Just for their stunning hand knitted wool and acrylic yarns, canvas and timber series "Feminist Fan, #15, #19 and #26" ($1000 Star Observer Prize). The Bundoora Homestead Art Award (includes an artist fee, residency opportunity and public outcome): went to Sean Miles, for their archival inkjet prints in painted frames and performance "Māui-tikitiki-a-taranga". Paul Yore was the winner of the People's Choice Award ($1000) for their work with found fabric, needlepoint, cotton thread, wool, acrylic paint, sequins, buttons and beads "Deny Everything". Judges of the Major Award of $5000 include Francis Parker (MUMA), Madé Spencer-Castle (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and Gary Starr (Australia Post's Executive General Manager, Business and Government; and PostPride Executive Sponsor).
For the 2018 exhibition, the main award of $5000 went to Tama tk Sharman for their outstanding installation "oh my how things change rua/II_(phalloplasty for poor cunts)" with the supplementary awards going to Lesley Turnbull for her stunning photographic series "S k i n s" ($1000 Star Observer Prize) and Xanthe Dobbie for her digital work "21st Century Greatest Hits Screensaver Pack" ($1000 People's Choice). Judges of the major art prize included curator Kelly Gellatly (Director, The Ian Potter Museum of Art), independent artist and writer Abbra Kotlarczyk (Art+Australia, un magazine, Das Platforms) and Andrew Walduck (Australia Post Executive General Manager for Trusted eCommerce Services).
The Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award recognises outstanding queer artists who are Australian residents, and:
- are submitting work created in the last two years.
- are submitting original artwork for which they hold the copyright.
- are submitting work not previously exhibited as part of this Art Award.
- were not a Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award winner in 2020.
- are not employees (and the immediate families of employees) of selection committee members, judges or Midsumma Festival and Australia Post staff directly associated with the competition.
- are not relatives of staff on the selection committee or judges.
Works of all mediums and scale will be considered and artists can submit as many artworks into the competition as they like.
All finalists will be required to:
- exhibit their submitted artwork during Midsumma Festival 2021 at No Vacancy Gallery, QV, 30 – 40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne. See Key Dates.
- install and de-install their artwork as per the Key Dates.
- cover any costs associated with the display of their work (eg. hanging hooks, technical equipment including TV monitors, projectors, speakers etc). Artists should note that Midsumma Festival has limited access to TV monitors and projectors, and that we cannot guarantee that these will be provided.
- pack works and arrange freight to and from the exhibition, if necessary.
- consent to Midsumma Festival and Australia Post publishing the artwork (including photographs) to publicise this competition in connection with the Midsumma Festival or for the purposes of promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
- consent to featuring their work being exhibited in an online virtual tour of the exhibition.
For the purposes of insurance, once artworks are brought into the gallery (No Vacancy), the gallery temporarily takes ownership of the works to ensure it is covered under their contents insurance. Artwork is not insured during transport to and from the exhibition.
Finalists will be selected by Midsumma’s artistic team and will be selected based on artistic merit and overall balance of art forms and artistic content.
All finalists will be notified in November 2020.
Major Prize Determination
The major prize for the 2021 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award will be awarded to the finalist whose artwork submitted into the competition is determined by the judges that most artistically and creatively reflects the artist’s personal and/or political perspective and which also exhibits a high degree of artistic merit. The winner of the major prize will receive $6,000 (cash).
People’s Choice Winner Determination
The finalists’ artworks will be made available to the public for viewing and voting during Midsumma Festival. Finalists cannot place votes. Voting will be in person at the exhibition, and through an online form if there is a digital presentation of the exhibition. The People’s Choice prize winner will receive $1000 (cash).
Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Award
In partnership with Midsumma Festival, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is proud to offer a paid residency / exhibition opportunity for the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize. The opportunity will be determined in collaboration with the winning artist in order to best support their practice, and will take place within the grounds of Bundoora Homestead Art Centre in 2022.
This is a non-acquisitive art prize. Artists may choose to make their work(s) available for sale through the sales system facilitated by Midsumma Festival. No commissions are taken on artworks sold and Midsumma Festival takes no responsibility for soliciting the sale of artworks.
If sold, artists are responsible for packaging their work ready for transfer of ownership at the conclusion of the exhibition. Failure to do so will incur a $50 packaging fee taken from the sale of the artwork.
Artwork that is not collected by the purchaser within 3 months of the exhibition closing will be returned to the artist. In this instance, ownership of the artwork will transfer back to the artist and the artist will retain the income from the sale (or deposit in the instance that only a deposit was made by the purchaser).
When applying online you will be asked to provide the following information:
- The artist’s name, contact details and other personal information;
- ABN (if applicable) and GST status;
- The title of the artwork submitted;
- The year the artwork was created;
- The medium and dimensions of the artwork;
- The sale price of the artwork (where applicable; including GST if applicable);
- Notes on display of the artwork - please also include any notes on how the artwork could be displayed digitally, there is a high chance the exhibition will have both a physical and digital presence.
- An artist statement for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
- The artist’s CV(maximum one page in length; provided as a weblink);
- A biography of the artist for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
- Images of the artwork- a weblink to a maximum of three (3) high resolution images. This will be used for assessing your application and may be used for promotional purposes. Please utilise a filename with the artist’s full name to allow for easy identification.
- Full-length version of your video or audio work if applicable, as a weblink. Please also provide any applicable passwords. This will be used for assessing your application;
- Headshot of the artist (jpeg format; high resolution) for inclusion on the Midsumma website.