Prize pays tribute to the life of Arthur Guy

Opening to the public this Saturday, June 17, is the 2017 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. 

Held every two years, the Guy Prize is designed to attract some of Australia’s finest contemporary artists from across the country, awarding a generous acquisitive cash prize of $50,000. 

ART: Guan Wei, who has been a recipient of the Guy Prize, painted this picture called Beach 5, 2014, with acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Nancy Sever Gallery.

ART: Guan Wei, who has been a recipient of the Guy Prize, painted this picture called Beach 5, 2014, with acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Nancy Sever Gallery.

Shortlisted from more than 290 entries, the work of the 37 finalists will be on display in a free exhibition until September 17.

The Prize was initiated by Mr Allen Guy CBE (1917-2007) to honour his brother Arthur Guy (1914-1945) whose life was tragically cut short while in service in New Guinea. 

Arthur Guy was born in Melbourne on November 24, 1914, the first son for Arthur and Catherine Guy and the only and elder sibling of Allen Rupert Guy. 

He was educated at Camp Hill State School in Bendigo and then at Ballarat Grammar School then enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in a signals unit and served in New Guinea. 

On February 14, 1945, aged 30, he was on a biscuit bomber mission when his plane was shot down near Lae and he was later buried in the Lae War Memorial Cemetery.

Previous winners of the Guy Prize include Stieg Persson, Dale Frank, Stephen Bush, Jan Nelson, Tim Johnson, Chris Bond and Guan Wei.

Paintings by each of these renowned artists have been acquired through the prize, and now belong to the city thanks to the generosity of the Guy family.

Bendigo Art Gallery is grateful to this year’s panel of judges – Mark Feary, Artistic Director, Gertrude Street, Dr David Hansen, Associate Professor, Centre for Art History and Art Theory, ANU School of Art and Design, Hannah Mathews, Senior Curator, Monash University Museum of Art, Penelope Wise, representative of the Guy family, and Julie Millowick, Bendigo Art Gallery Board.

First presented in 2003, the Bendigo Art Gallery acknowledges those who have contributed to the success of the award. 

If you would like to know more about contemporary painting in Australia, go along to a free talk at 11am on Tuesday, August 8, by Dr Vincent Alessi, senior lecturer, visual arts and design at La Trobe University, for a focus on two extremes central to the genre - abstractionism and photo-realism - and their relevance to contemporary practice. 

Or, why not join one of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s free guided tours at 11am or 2pm, offered Tuesdays – Sundays.

For further information on current exhibitions and Bendigo Art Gallery programs visit www.bendigoartgallery.com.au

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