Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2021 is open for entries
  • Thursday 04 March 2021
Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2020 judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery and Major Prize winner Natalya Hughes

Entries are open for the 16th Sunshine Coast Art Prize— the flagship art event for the Sunshine Coast region and one of the most coveted art awards in Australia with a prize pool of more than $30,000.

Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said: “Once again Sunshine Coast Council is casting its net both locally and nationwide, encouraging entries from Australia’s best contemporary artists,”


“Importantly the calibre of judges, we are able to engage together with the standard of presentation in our regional gallery makes the Sunshine Coast Art Prize a serious survey of contemporary arts practice at a national level.


“The prize is acquisitive, with the winning artwork adding to our increasingly impressive Sunshine Coast Art Collection. A sample is now on display at the Caloundra Regional Gallery,” Cr Baberowski said.


“Each year the display of art helps us all reflect on our time and culture; I look forward to seeing how our nations artists have reflected on what has been an exceptionally challenging year.

Caloundra Regional Gallery Curator Jo Duke said the Prize had, over the years, attracted experienced and high-profile judges and that this year was no exception with Museum of Brisbane Director Renai Grace accepting the challenge to select the winning entries

“Renai brings to the table a wealth of experience having worked for some of Queensland’s leading cultural institutions and projects as well as several years in the commercial gallery field,” Ms Duke said.

“She also served as Director of Investment and Development at Arts Queensland.”

“Renai has dedicated her career to raising awareness of the impact of creativity to connect and inspire communities and create vibrant cities.”

Ms Grace said she was thrilled to be invited to judge the 16th Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

“This unique acquisitive prize provides promotional opportunities, not only for the winner but the finalists, raising their profile through an exhibition and online engagement,” Ms Grace said.

“Importantly, the prize offers to reduce the financial burden on artists by covering the cost of their freight.”

Entries close 10 May with finalists announced in June.

Finalist works will be on display in the Caloundra Regional Gallery from 27 August to 10 October.

For more information on this acquisitive art prize visit

Key dates

  • Entries open: 9am Monday 22 February 2021 AEST
  • Entries close: 5pm Monday 10 May 2021 AEST
  • Finalists will be announced: 10am Tuesday 15 June 2021 AEST
  • Exhibition dates: 27 August – 10 October 2021 
  • The Winners’ announcements: 23 September 2021

Prizes and supporters

About Renai Grace

Renai Grace was appointed Director/CEO of the Museum of Brisbane in November 2016. Since joining Museum of Brisbane, Renai has led an award-winning program including Mao’s Last Dancer the exhibition (2017-2018), The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive (2018-2019), New Woman (2019-2020) and initiated the bi-annual Brisbane Art Design Festival (BAD).

Prior to joining Museum of Brisbane, Renai worked for some of Queensland’s leading cultural institutions and projects including Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Women of the World Festival, NorthSite (formerly Kickarts) and Artisan (Queensland’s peak body for Craft and Design). She has also served as Director of Investment and Development at Arts Queensland.

As a curator, Renai has supported the work of many artists. She co-founded art galleries, Spiro Grace Art Room, Smith & Stoneley and Blindside as well as Independent Arts Management, an arts consultancy that has overseen the management of corporate art collections and orchestrated the master planning and commissioning of major public artworks across Australia.

As Associate Director for Positive Solutions, Renai established the Melbourne office and contributed to cultural policies and master plans for West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong, Shire of Yarra Ranges and Public Galleries Association of Victoria. She collaborated with UAP to curate significant national and international projects KAUST, Reconciliation Place, Canberra and Darwin Waterfront Redevelopment.