Mudgee will host the historic Wynne Prize 2023 exhibition from Friday, December 1 for the first time, a major boon for the regional arts centre.
Coming from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, it is the first time in the 127-year-long history of the contemporary landscape painting prize that is has toured the regions.
The Wynne Prize is an open competition judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and awarded annually to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture, alongside the Archibald and Sulman Prizes. The Wynne Prize is Australia's oldest art prize
"It will give our local community as well as the many visitors to the region the opportunity to see the best of Australian contemporary landscape painting and sculpture," Gallery Curator, Lizzy Galloway said.
"...to be entrusted with a prize like this is a real sign that the gallery being such a new building with climate control is... now on the radar."
One such artist, the winner of the 2023 Wynne Prize, is Zaachariaha Fielding, an Adelaide-based multi-disciplinary artist who hails from Mimili community.
"A lot of these works are coming out from the APY areas, which is the border of South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory," Ms Galloway said.
"They traditionally have very strong artists and very strong connection to the land.
"So you're seeing a lot of these... the dreamings coming through as part of these finalists and just just the sheer quality of these works coming in, including the winner Zaachariaha Fielding."
The exhibition will be open from 6pm on Friday, December 1 until January 28 2024. Mudgee Arts Precinct is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. Entry is free.