Experts from across Australia’s art industry will judge the inaugural National Capital Art Prize to decide who will be the recipients of the $45,000 prize pool.

This year’s judging panels will include:

  • Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM, long-term art critic and author of over 25 books
  • The Hon. Justice John Sackar, President of Arts Law and advocate for the Australian arts community
  • Bernard Ollis, renowned artist and former Director of the National Art School in Sydney
  • Lynnice Church, renowned artist, teacher and a member of the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi Tribes
  • Peter Johnson, Curator, Projects, National Gallery of Australia
  • Dr Rebekah Davis, Head of School, Art & Design, Australian National University
  • Dr Sarah Schmidt, Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery

Bernard Ollis, renowned artist and former Director of the National Art School in Sydney, said, “I am honoured to be asked to be one of the judges of the inaugural National Capital Art Prize”.

“This competition will showcase Australian talent on a national scale.”

Director and Founder of the Prize, Mr Bob Stephens, said he is thrilled with the response to the new competition from the arts industry and that so many distinguished art industry experts will give their time to judge the works which will be submitted from around the nation.

“To have so many renowned industry representatives sharing their experience, skills and knowledge through the judging of the National Capital Art Prize is a wonderful opportunity for participating artists,” Mr Stephens said.

Judges will be dispersed into panels to evaluate the four main categories which include Open, First Nations Prize for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander artists, Landscape and Student.

A two-tiered adjudication process will determine the Australian artists who will be selected as finalists and category winners.

A unique part of this competition is the online People’s Choice Award. Finalist’s artworks will be displayed in a virtual gallery and the public will decide who wins this category. This is to provide every Australian with the opportunity to view, experience and share in Australia’s creativity.

The 2021 National Capital Art Prize encourages both established and emerging artists to submit up to four pieces on any theme or genre.

The National Capital Art Prize is a national, non-acquisitive competition and exhibition. It is open to a work in any medium made by artists aged 18 years or over who are permanent residents of Australia. Entries can be made until  1 July 2021 and can be submitted on the Prize website National Capital Art Prize. Finalist artworks will be delivered to Canberra for judging in August and public exhibition in September.

Further details are available at