The churchie national emerging art prize and exhibition offers an inspiring glimpse into the future of the Australian contemporary art scene. It provides a forum for artists to compete for highly visible recognition and does not restrict entries by category. All mediums are welcome, including painting, works on paper (drawing, editions, artist books), photography, new media and sculpture. Finalists from all Australian states and territories are pre-selected for the exhibition in a professional public gallery space, with the overall winner rewarded with a $15,000 non-acquisitive cash prize.
This exhibition and the interest it generates has provided tangible and indirect boosts for many talented artists around Australia. Many artists have been selected directly from the project for representation by leading art dealers around the country, some have been invited into new curated projects in public galleries and museums, and many works have sold with benefits flowing direct to artists. Media interest has resulted in an abundance of coverage for individual artists, raising profiles and generating many column centimetres devoted to discussion of their practice.