Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Telstra National ATSI Art Awards – finalists

Genelle Sharples, Telstra NATSIAA in 2019: Celebrating diverse and accessible First Nations art and artists, Telstra Exchange, 30 April 2019

68 Indigenous artists from across Australia have been selected as finalists for the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), the country’s longest running and most illustrious Indigenous art awards. We’re proud to sponsor the awards, now in their 36th year, and to extend our partnership for another three-year long collaboration.

Supporting the NATSIAA for 28 of its 36 years means that we have seen how supporting a focal point of our country’s finest Indigenous artists further showcases their talent, shares their stories and expresses their imagination. We believe it is an important part of Australian society to share ideas and culture through artistic expression, in all its diverse forms.

Working with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to display Indigenous culture through artwork and storytelling in the Telstra NATSIAA, we believe in a vision for an inclusive Australia where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected and empowered to thrive. It is with the deepest respect that we support this long-running and prestigious awards program and are proud to announce a significant partnership milestone with MAGNT for the next three years.

Across the eight awards categories, First Nations artists from urban and regional areas across Australia submitted 280 entries in the 2019 NATSIAA, with finalist judging taking place last week in Sydney. Collectively, winners this year will receive $80,000, including the $50,000 Telstra Art Award for the work judged most outstanding in all categories and the Telstra Emerging Artist Award of $5000 awarded from any category to an artist working in their first five years of practice.

Telstra NATSIAA Awards Category Entries

  • Telstra Bark Painting Award
  • Telstra General Painting Award
  • Telstra Works on paper Award
  • Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award (sponsored by Telstra)
  • Telstra Works on Paper Award
  • Telstra Multimedia Award
  • Telstra Emerging Artist Award

35 finalists are from the Northern Territory, with 16 from Western Australia, nine from South Australia and the remainder from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and the ACT. The judges’ panel is made up of influential Tiwi artist Pedro Wonaeamirri (Gurrumaiyuwa), director of the Art Gallery of South Australia Rhana Devonport, and Senior Curator of Indigenous Cultures at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Zoe Rimmer.

“The emerging artist category continues to breathe new life into the Awards and the broader arts sector. It’s rewarding to profile these trailblazing artists and to share their skill, voice and cultures.”

The winners of the 2019 Telstra NATSIAA will be announced at an awards ceremony at MAGNT’s museum and art gallery at Bullocky Point on Friday, 9 August. We thank MAGNT for its work stewarding and preserving the culture of Indigenous art in Australia, and we congratulate all NATSIAA entrants and finalists for sharing their beautiful craft with us all.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2019
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