Looking to invest its success back into Australian artists, online art marketplace bluethumb has announced the launch of the $10,000 bluethumb Art Prize.
The prize is open to all Australian artists who have an original and signature-style work listed on bluethumb, with the winner taking home $10,000 and featuring in a major marketing campaign.
“We had to disrupt and innovate the whole art buying system,” says co-founder and managing director Edward Hartley. “When you’re the first to market you need to solve a vast number of problems, shift perceptions, develop new technology, and build an entire marketplace with limited resources. It’s taken years of hard work, which is now really paying off, so we’re investing this success back into our artists with the art prize. We’ve created a new platform and way of running an art prize that keeps administration costs minimal. We’re keen to share this technology with the industry.”
Unlike other art prizes, the bluethumb Art Prize is free to enter, submissions are online, the artists can change their artwork at any time before entries close and the art is for sale throughout so doesn’t prohibit artists from making money. With over 850 submissions so far, there are already more entrants than the 2016 Archibald prize.
“Providing free entry removes one of many obstacles artists face when considering entering an Art Prize,” says bluethumb artist and Archibald finalist Kim Leutwyler. “Creating a Bluethumb profile is a no-brainer for any emerging artist who’d like to reach a broad audience and build a community of creators whom they have the option to connect with. There really is no good reason not to enter, so I’m not at all surprised by the fantastic response to the bluethumb Art Prize. “
The bluethumb Art Prize judging panel consists of range of industry luminaries including Leigh Robb, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia; Penny Griggs, General Manager of SALA (South Australian Living Artists Festival); Sam Hill-Smith, founder of the Hill-Smith Gallery; Anna Rooke, CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia; and reality TV star, Gina Liano.
Entries close 30th September. Art lovers can also get involved and have the chance to win $5,000 worth of bluethumb art by referring an artist to enter.
To find out more, go to the bluethumb website.