The prestigious $35,000 Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting will soon be open for 2010.

A regional launch of the prize will be held at the Tweed River Art Gallery at 11am on Tuesday 16 February to officially launch the 2010 prize and invite artists to enter.

The $35,000 Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting is Australia’s richest annual landscape prize.

In its eighth year, the art pPrize showcases the wealth of artistic talent across country and coastal New South Wales while contributing to the visual arts industry.

A series of regional launches are held across NSW announcing that the annual prize is open for 2010, and inviting artists to enter.

Entries for the 2010 Art Prize close on 25 June 2010, with the finalists exhibited at the Glasshouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre in Port Macquarie. The winner will be announced at an opening event at the Glasshouse on 30 September.

Entry is exclusive to artists whose principal place of residence is within Country Energy’s network distribution area, which covers 95 per cent of New South Wales’ land mass.

The prize is open to all artistic styles, mediums and contexts, ranging from figurative to abstract, charcoal to traditional oil paint and landscapes to seascapes.

The Art Prize also includes the Youth Encouragement Award. This award is designed to support and promote the work of emerging young artists from regional NSW. The additional prize of $5000 from Country Energy is presented each year to an artist who has entered Countryscapes and is aged 25 years or younger.

Artists and art lovers are all invited to the launch of Countryscapes 2010. The guest speaker, and three time Countryscapes exhibitor, painter Robyn Sweaney from Mullumbimby, will speak about her experiences as a regional artist and being a finalist in the prize.

PICTURE: Graham Lupp of Bathurst won Countryscapes 2009 for his work Hen and Chicken Lane (courtesy of Country Energy).