Wellington Boot Race Art Competition could see artists win $1500

Ian Giffin and Jared Wykes of the Race Club at the 2018 Wellington Boot. Photo: Elouise Hawkey
Ian Giffin and Jared Wykes of the Race Club at the 2018 Wellington Boot. Photo: Elouise Hawkey

Local artists will get a chance to have their artwork recognised as the best in show as part of the Wellington Boot Race Art Competition this year. 

As part of a co-operative effort between Wellington Arts and the Wellington Race Club, artists have been invited to enter their own unique artwork into a competition.

The artwork judged the winner will be purchased by the Race Club and used as the basis for their 2020 Wellington Boot Race’s advertising.

The competition used to run annually to coincide with the Boot Race itself, but has fallen by the way-side in recent years before being revived by Wellington Art’s Karen McCarrol and Lisa Thomas and the Race Club’s Jared Wykes.

“I think it went back to ‘92, it started back with the arts society years ago. I’ve been helping out a bit with Lisa Thomas getting some lighting going for events like Fong Lees Lane,” Mr Wykes said. 

“The original painting done by Di Thatcher was the first winner and she’s a very well renowned artist in Wellington.”

“She was one of the best artists around, she used to win the competition year after year. Her original art was purchased by Geoff Plasto. We went down there and had a look at the art on the wall and decided to go with the same theme again and see if we could bring the competition back,” Mr Wykes said.

Up to $1500 will be paid for the winning artwork, which must be themed around racing and feature the number ‘2020’.

“The acquisition price is great incentive and I think in the future you can expect that to grow, I’m sure the Race Club see this is a great opportunity to add that other dimension of culture to what is a very social sport,” Mrs Thomas said. 

“It’s a great accolade to any artist to be featured as the poster for the coming year. The artwork chosen this year will be the poster for next year which is a great thing for any artist, particularly across the racing sector which covers all of Australia.”

The winning artwork will be auctioned during the customary Wellington Boot Calcutta Night at the Soldiers Memorial Club, and displayed alongside the other entrants, which will also be up for sale. 

“In the past, it’s attracted artists from all over the state, so it’s a very much been a drawcard. The posters that ended up being made in the past often ended up being something of collector items and pieces of memorabilia,” Mrs Thomas said.

The closing date for artwork submissions is Monday April 1 by 4.30pm at the Wellington Soldiers club.

Any artworks that will be exhibited and put on sale on Saturday April 6 at the Wellington Soldiers Club and Sunday April 7 at the Wellington Race Course members building. 

“Hopefully not only local artists, but people from across the region get involved for a chance at having the accolade of having their artwork selected as the poster design.”