Arts / Culture

Ahead of NATSIAA 2022, here’s everything you should know about the richest art prize in Australia

natsiaa 2022

Can we get a little commotion for NATSIAA 2022? Not only is it the longest running and most prestigious art prize for Aboriginal and Torres Strait artists, but as of March this year, it became the richest award in the country – a title that was previously held by the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Now in its 38th year, its main partner Telstra raised the prize pool from $80,000 to $190,000 as part of its renewed partnership with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin. Which means, the NATSIAA winner for 2022 will be awarded $100,000 while the category winners will receive $15,000 a piece. So what can we expect from NATSIAA 2022? Read on to find out.

What is NATSIAA?

Known in full as the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, it's an annual event first conjured up in 1984 that platforms and celebrates the richness of First Nations art in Australia created by both cemented and emerging artists. Comprising of seven prize categories, the main one being the Telstra Art Award, finalists have the opportunity to be recognised for their painting, painting on bark, works on paper, 3D art, or multimedia practice. While there is also an emerging artist award too.

When will the event take place?

For 2022, winners will be announced at 6pm, Friday August 5, and the exhibition will be open to the public from August 6 until January 15, 2023.

Who are the finalists?

Out of 221 entries, there have been 63 finalists selected to appear in this year's prize. 33 of the finalists hails from the Northern Territory, while 12 come from Western Australia, with 11 from South Australia, 6 from Queensland and 1 from Victoria and Torres Strait.

Marcus Schutenko the director at MAGNT Director said of the finalists that, “such strength was found in this year’s artworks despite the multifaceted impact of COVID on artists and their communities. The Selection Panel faced the exceptionally competitive task of choosing the finalists. We are stirred by such ambitious and deeply moving works from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across Australia. MAGNT and Telstra look forward to sharing trailblazing artistic practice, surprising forms and mediums, and artist stories with wide audiences.”

Find a complete list of finalists at the MAGNT website.

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Image via @mag_nt: Juanella McKenzie and her work Hold Me.