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Last call for entries for veterans’ art prize

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Artist Ben Quilty in front of one of his works at the Australian War Memorial

Ben Quilty will be a co-judge for the prize and will provide mentoring to the winning artist.

Entries for the first ever national art prize for current and former servicemen and women, the Napier Waller Prize, close on Wednesday 11 July 2018.

The prize is presented by the Australian War Memorial in partnership with the University of Canberra and is sponsored by Thales Australia.

The winner will receive $10,000 in cash, a two-week research residency in the Art Section of the Memorial and a mentoring session with former official war artist and co-judge Ben Quilty.

Entries can be in any visual art medium, including but not limited to: painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, digital, decorative and installation. The work must not exceed 2 x 2 x 2 metres, and must have been completed in the 24 months prior to submission.

Only online entries will be accepted.

The winning work will be displayed at the Australian War Memorial and acquired for the Memorial’s art collection.

The prize is named after artist Napier Waller, who was severely wounded while fighting at Bullecourt in the First World War, and later had his right arm amputated. Waller went on to design the artwork in the memorial’s Hall of Memory and make a significant contribution to its art collection.

The Memorial’s Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, said the prize aimed to promote the healing potential of art for servicemen and servicewomen and to raise a broader awareness of the military experience and the impact of service on the individual.

‘Art has been shown to play a critical role in the recovery of returning service personnel,’ Dr Nelson said.

‘It is extremely important that veterans have an outlet for how they can process what they have seen, and what they have experienced.’

Ian Drayton, Faculty Manager of the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design, said the university’s involvement was a natural progression from work it had undertaken with the Australian Defence Force over four years providing creative arts workshops for current serving wounded, injured and ill Defence Force members.

For more information about how to enter between now and the closing date of 11 July, see the Australian War Memorial website.

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