Young artists in portrait

RACT Insurance (RACTI) is marking 10-years of supporting young Tasmanian creative talent with the launch of its 10th annual Tasmanian Portraiture Prize (TPP), the state’s leading premier portraiture competition.

Over the past decade, more than 560 Tasmanian artists have entered the competition, with the RACTI TPP helping to launch the careers of many local artists, including the competition’s inaugural winner Hilton Owen.

Mr Owen said the RACTI TPP “truly kick-started” his artistic career.

“I was only 18-years-old when I won but it really was huge for me, not just in terms of motivation to continue with my art but winning or even making the shortlist provides Tasmanian artists with such a sense of validation,” he said.

“The RACTI TPP has always had such esteemed judges and having the chance to have your artwork displayed alongside other finalists provides young artists with the sense they are on the right track with their work.”

Since winning the RACTI TPP in 2008, Mr Owen has held yearly exhibitions across Tasmania and interstate.

“The TPP competition has become a recognised competition, not just in Tasmania but also around Australia and I’m still very proud to have ‘RACTI TPP Winner’ on my CV,” Mr Owen said.

“Entering was an extremely worthwhile experience and I would encourage anyone thinking of entering to do so.”

RACTI TPP curator Kylie Eastley said applicants were continually surprising judges by experimenting with a vast array of artistic mediums.

“There is so much more to portraiture than most people would think and entrants continue to explore the limits of portraiture and mediums in which a portrait can be represented,” she said.

“Over the years, we’ve had entries in the form of multi-media, video, photographs, oils, acrylics, graphite, watercolours, print and animation.

“We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.”

RACT Insurance chief executive officer Trent Sayers said his organisation was thrilled to continually support such a dominant growth industry within Tasmania.

“By continuing our support of the TPP and the local arts scene, RACT Insurance hopes to foster the development and passion of young Tasmanian artists,” he said.

“We feel it is important that local businesses do everything within their power to create opportunities for our youth to thrive within their chosen industry.”

The TPP invites Tasmanian artists aged 30-years and under to produce a portrait of a living Tasmanian who is important to them.

The winner of the 2017 RACT Insurance Tasmanian Portraiture Prize will receive $5000 and a trip for two to the Archibald Prize exhibition in Sydney.

Entries are now open and will close on Friday 30 June, with the shortlisted artists to be announced in early July.

The 2017 winners will be announced at the RACT Insurance TPP opening night at Hobart’s Long Gallery on Friday 1 September.

For more information, visit www.taspp.com.au or visit the RACT Insurance TPP page on Facebook.

Caption: Inaugural Tasmanian Portraiture Prize winner Hilton Owen, left, with RACT Insurance chief executive officer Trent Sayers.