Self portrait a winner for Louise Smith

Gold Coast artist Louise Smith has taken out the hotly contested Dean Cogle Portrait Prize for 2020 with her ‘Self Portrait 1’.

The Dean Cogle Portrait Prize 2020 proceeded as planned last month at Dust Temple Currumbin, and was as engaging and impressive as ever. The event is the incredible legacy of the late Gold Coast artist and cultural leader, Dean Cogle, who passed away too soon in May last year. Dean was the first resident artist at Dust Temple and initiated the event in 2015 with the generous support of Michelle Neumann.

“An exceptional year, so many talented artists submitted entries this year,” said Dust Temple co-owner Isla Wilson. “It is an honour to continue Dean’s vision for a portrait prize.”

Following a selection process, the work of over 50 finalists was displayed in the Dust Gallery for the month of August and enjoyed by a constant flow of interested Gold Coasters.

This year’s Prize was judged by John Walsh who has worked in the public gallery sector since the 1980s, including almost 20 years with the Gold Coast City Gallery. The work of finalists was extremely diverse, not only in the choice of subjects, but size, colour, texture, and form. “Not an easy task,” said Isla.

Congratulations go to local artist Louise Smith with her oil on canvas, ‘Self Portrait 1’ which was painted specifically for the Prize. Louise said of her win: “I was surprised to take out the Prize and only popped in on the night as I had another function happening.”  This was the third year that Louise has entered the Portrait Prize and has previously won Runner-Up and People’s Choice.

When asked what winning meant to her, Louise said, “It gives me the confidence to treat my art as more than a hobby – not to give up.”

Louise was a graphic designer for over a decade and has turned her hand to painting as a form of relaxation. She is a mother and full-time carer and describes her art as “Cheaper than therapy! Everyone needs something that makes them who they are.”

Kalinda Witchey took out the Packing Room Prize with ‘Night Jams’ and Rhys John Kaye was the winner of People’s Choice with his ‘Alone Together’.

Follow: @louisejsmith | @kalindawitcheyart | @killjohnkaye


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