Bendigo artists benefit from urban benefactor

A benefactor of the Bendigo Art Gallery has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Paul Guest has sponsored the gallery’s $12,000 drawing prize, which bears his name, since 2010. 

The former Olympic rower and Family Court judge received his OAM for service to the community and sport of rowing.

Bendigo Art Gallery’s senior curator of programs and access Leanne Fitzgibbon said Mr Guest was a “keen supporter of the arts”. As well as his support of the Bendigo Art Gallery, Mr Guest is chairman of Notfair, an art fair which promotes emerging artists.

“It’s fantastic that he’s received the award and it’s well deserved,” Ms Fitzgibbon said.

“He provides the funds for the Paul Guest Prize, which is every two years, and that makes a great difference to the artist who receives those funds.

“It’s also a great thing for local artists who have been successful in being shortlisted and can sit alongside their national peers.”

Ms Fitzgibbon said the gallery’s international profile had helped it attract donors like Mr Guest, who lives in Melbourne.

Mr Guest competed in the Olympic Games in 1960, 1964 and 1968.

 He began practising law in 1965, was appointed to the Queen’s Counsel in 1983 and was a judge on the Family Court of Australia between 1998 and 2008. Mr Guest is currently the director of the Lasallian Foundation – which co-ordinates development projects in the Asia Pacific and South Sudan – and is a board member of Children’s Rights International.

The Paul Guest Prize is a non-acquisitive cash prize of $12,000 which is held every two years, highlighting contemporary drawing practice in Australia.

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