Submissions being received for Malka Aboriginal Art Prize

PRIZE: Juanella McKenzie, with her daughter, with one of her emu feather weaves. Ms McKenzie was the winner of the 2020 Marvin McKenzie Senior Award at the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize. Photo: Supplied
PRIZE: Juanella McKenzie, with her daughter, with one of her emu feather weaves. Ms McKenzie was the winner of the 2020 Marvin McKenzie Senior Award at the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize. Photo: Supplied

After being forced to go online last year due to COVID-19 the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize exhibition will return to its traditional format in 2021, with submissions now open.

The art prize, which is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists living in the Spencer Gulf, Flinders Ranges and Outback, Mid North, Far North and Far West regions, had to go the online route in 2020 because of the pandemic, with more than 50 submissions made.

The Port Augusta City Council's Aboriginal arts and cultural facilitator Maria Anderson said they were expecting similar numbers this year, and was excited that the exhibition could be open to the public once again.

"We are very excited," she said.

"The Malka Aboriginal Art Prize has been running for 12 years and we have had really good entries into the exhibition.

"Last year we had 58 entrants, which was about the same as 2019, but had to host the exhibition online."

Submissions for the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize are open now and will close on June 1.

The Malka Aboriginal Art Prize was the brainchild of the late Marvin McKenzie Senior, who had a vision to have an Aboriginal art show, ensuring the Aboriginal community would have a space to showcase their work.

'Malka' is a word used by a number of Aboriginal language groups within the Port Augusta region, meaning mark or painting.

The main prize is named after Mr McKenzie, and that, as well as the people's choice award, elders award and two youth awards, are up for grabs in 2021.

Ms Anderson said they were encouraging artists from across the invited regions to get involved and to let their imagination and creativity run wild.

"It is open to Aboriginal artists from across the region and we are encouraging youth, and also elders, to participate in the exhibition," she said.

"It is open to all mediums - it could be weaving, it could be carving, acrylic on canvas, photography or painting.

"Use your imagination and put in what you feel you can put in."

She said the judges were looking for different aspects such as the storyline included, the colours and details in the artwork.

Once submissions close, the exhibition will be open from June 23 until July 16 at the Yarta Purtli Art Gallery at 6 Beauchamp Lane in Port Augusta.

For more information on the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize, contact Ms Anderson on 8641 9175.