A unique celebration for the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Megafauna remains at the Naracoorte Caves officially opened last week as the Naracoorte Regional Gallery announced the official opening of the National Naracoorte Art Prize for 2019.
The winning art piece will receive a $10,000 prize, with a $2000 Mayor Prize also available.
Aimed at promoting the Naracoorte Caves as well as the town nationally and internationally, art prize coordinator Colin Kelly says the competition could be a massive boon for the area.
“We are hoping to bring in artists from everywhere,” Mr Kelly said. “As well as bring in the economical value the competition has to the region.”
The competition is being advertised alongside ArtsHub in hopes of giving it national exposure. The competition is open until July 12, 2019.
“The main thing we want to achieve is to revitalise and bring more people and resources into the region,” Mr Kelly said.
“Everybody will benefit from it, the town, the shops and the accommodation houses and restaurants as this creates employment and interest into the town.”
The promotion has caught the eye of a vast array of international people, including Sir David Attenborough who sent a handwritten note to Mr Kelly, explaining his love for the caves.
The idea for the competition came about when the two organisations learned about the 50th anniversary.
Through the Naracoorte Lucindale Council Caves Connection program, the two parties believed the visual arts would be an important vehicle to promote both the council as well as the caves.
“The competition will raise the profile of the gallery and its contribution towards the town, as well as the caves,” Mr Kelly explained.
Mr Kelly also explained there were already people from around the country planning on travelling to Naracoorte for the opening, planned for late next year.
Naracoorte Caves acting manager Nick McIntyre also showed enthusiasm for the project, saying the Naracoorte Caves were always happy to support projects that had such promotional potential.
“Not only will the competition be good for the community, but it will also draw another market into the region,” Mr McIntyre said.
The exhibition is planned to be hosted in the Blanche Caves on September 21, 2019 and will then be on display at the Naracoorte Regional Gallery until October 27.
The theme for the competition is "Australian megafauna, fossils and caves – an artistic exploration" with all kinds of art forms encouraged. For more information or entry forms, head to https://www.naracoorteartgallery.com/2019-naracoorte-art-prize.