emilyportmannThe 101 entries selected for this year’s prestigious Olive Cotton award for photographic portraiture reflect a diverse range of subjects ranging from rock bands and acrobats to babies and grandparents.

2009 Olive Cotton Award judge Dean Sewell selected the diverse entries from 300 works submitted from all around Australia.

A number of local artists scored a position on the Tweed River Art Gallery walls, along with previously awarded photographers, previous entrants and a large number of new entrants.

The official opening of the exhibition and announcement of the winners will be held at the Gallery on Saturday 15 August. All are welcome.

Acting Gallery Director Anne Schardin said many of the exhibiting photographers would be in attendance for this exciting event.

“The exhibition is a significant opportunity for both established and emerging photographers and the works represent contemporary photographic practice from almost all Australian States and Territories,” Ms Schardin said.

“The major prize of $10,000 is generously funded by Olive Cotton’s family in celebration of one of Australia’s leading 20th Century photographers.

“The Friends of the Tweed River Art Gallery provide $2000 for Director’s Choice acquisitive awards, as well as a new $250 People’s Choice Award for the work most enjoyed by exhibition visitors.”

The event will start at 5pm and awards will be presented to the winners by judge Dean Sewell.

An acclaimed freelance photographer, Dean Sewell has numerous national and international awards to his name and has been a finalist in the Gallery’s photography prize.

The Tweed River Art Gallery is located on 2 Mistral Rd (Corner of Tweed Valley Way) in Murwillumbah. The Gallery and Café is open from Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.

On Sunday, 16 August at 11am join photographer and lecturer Doug Spowart for an insight into the 2009 award. In his floor talk, Doug will discuss the winning works, selected by Dean Sewell, and the Director’s Choice Awards, selected by Susi Muddiman, within the context of the exhibition and current photographic practice.

“Doug is passionate about photography. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and has achieved Master of Photography membership status four times over as well as being a five times recipient of the AIPP Queensland Professional Photographer of the Year Award,” Ms Schardin said.

“This is sure to be a stimulating and thought-provoking talk.”

PICTURE: The 2008 Olive Cotton Award Winner ($10,000) The Stone by Emily Portmann (Lambda print).