South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Awards finalists announced ahead of milestone year

Winter blues getting you down? Get yourself to Adelaide this August and be prepared for things to heat up as the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival celebrates its 20th year! With a mammoth program of exhibitions, arts and cultural events across the state you’re bound to find something that’ll light your fire.

Running throughout the month of August, the SALA Festival showcases the works of thousands of local visual artists in hundreds of exhibitions throughout Adelaide and regions, transforming venues from pubs and cafes to wineries and bookshops into pop-up art galleries for 31 days.

With the official 2017 program due to be released Saturday July 8, you can expect to see all forms of  visual art including painting, sculpture, jewellery , video and installation by some of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic artists, as well as a range of special events celebrating SALA’s milestone year.

Launched in 1998 by Paul Greenaway OAM (Director, Greenaway Art Gallery) and Sam Hill-Smith (Director, Hill-Smith Fine Art Gallery) through the Australian Commercial Galleries Association, SALA Festival celebrates the talents of South Australian artists and creates opportunities for audiences to experience their works.

Originally only running for a week, the month long festival is now recognised as the largest community based visual arts festival in Australia. Last year presenting the works of more than 4,600 artists in 630 free exhibitions across 570 venues. “Over its 20 year history the SALA Festival has cemented August as South Australia’s visual arts month,” says SALA Festival General Manager Penny Griggs. “This innovative, inclusive festival not only gives both established and emerging artists a platform to showcase their work…it also allows the general public to connect with their local artists and view the world through their eyes,” says Griggs.

The Finalists for the 2017 SALA Awards have also been announced with 31 South Australians nominated. More than $38,000 in cash and prizes are to be won across nine categories from contemporary art to photography, multimedia and “outsider” art.

Major awards include The Advertiser Contemporary Art Prize, the Unitcare Services Moving Image Award for multimedia and video artists and The City Rural Emerging Artist Award. A full list of finalist can be found below, with winners to be announced at the SALA Awards night on Friday July 7th.

The 2017 SALA Festival runs from August 1 to 31.


  • The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award
    $5,000 cash for the most outstanding contemporary work in any medium.
    FINALISTS: Alice Blanch, Verity Jasmin Burley, Wesley Harrop, Bernadine Johnson, Julia McInerney, Sonali Patel, Tom Phillips, Deborah Prior, Carly Snoswell, Karlien van Rooyen, Laura Wills.

  • Unitcare Services Moving Image Award
    $5,000 cash for an artist working in moving image or new media.
    FINALISTS: Trent Parke and Narelle Autio, Che Chorley, Sophie Corso, Paul Forza.
  • City Rural Emerging Artist Award
    $2,500 cash for an artist in the early stages of their career with under five years professional experience.
    FINALISTS: Paloma Concierta, Steph Fuller, Jane Skeer.
  • The City of Unley Active Ageing Award
    $2,000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2018 for an artist over the age of 60.
    FINALISTS: Tina Barr, Andrea Malone, Judy Parham.
  • Adelaide Review Outsider Art Award
    $1000 cash for an artist who identifies their work as “outsider”: art created outside the boundaries of the established art scene.
    FINALISTS: Alana Gregory, Len Harvey, Steve Oatway.
  • Centre for Creative Photography Latent Image Award
    Up to $725 worth of in-kind assistance for an emerging artist using photography.
    FINALISTS: Tracy Lymn, Lee Walter, Gabrielle Waters.
  • Atkins Photographic Award
    An edition of three giclee archival fine art prints for an artist working in photography.
    FINALISTS: Alice Blanch, Trevor Comley, Bridgette Minuzzo.
  • Third Royal South Australian Society of Arts Biennial Portrait Prize
    Cash prizes up to $21,750 for artists creating portraits in any medium.
    Finalists will be announced in early July, and exhibited from July 30 to August 27 at the RSASA Gallery, Kintore Ave, Adelaide. Winners will be announced at the exhibition opening on July 30.
  • SALA Festival Patron’s Art Writer’s Award
    One month residency at international art complex Phasmid Studios in Berlin, Germany,  including return flights, for visual arts writing about South Australian living visual artists.
    This award is open to writers from anywhere in the world, with nominations closing at the end of August.

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