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Meet Our Judges for the Art Lovers Australia Prize

Art Lovers | 10 January 2018

The Art Lovers Australia Prize exhibition is the highlight of our annual calendar and we are beyond excited to introduce you to our judges for the prize; Kate St James, Editor-in-Chief of Universal Magazine’s Home Design Magazine, Rebecca Ross, art academic and Gold Coast cultural figure. With the third judge being our very own Art Lovers Community.

Meet Kate St James

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Kate St James is the Editor-in-Chief of Universal Magazines’ Home Design and Living Series of magazines including Grand Designs Australia. Her qualifications include interior design and journalism with a specific focus in architecture and design. Kate has been a member of various national boards and leading associations for architecture and design and is included in the prestigious collation by Crown Content – Who’s Who of Australian Women “Leadership and Beyond”.

We had the pleasure of talking to Kate about art and aesthetics

What does art and visual aesthetics mean for you in your everyday life and at home?

“As an interior designer, visual aesthetics are extremely important in my home and in the homes and buildings others inhabit,”

“Looking at beautiful images, influences our brains, releasing dopamine – the feel-good hormone – creating different moods of pleasure and excitement and are good for relaxation in rooms such as the bedroom.“

And what about your personal taste in art? How would you describe it?

“I have an eclectic taste in art, which ranges from the Classics to Cubism, Impressionism to Contemporary Abstracts.  I am attracted to colour and if I had to choose a style, an upbeat abstract would probably win.  I avoid anything that triggers negative emotions.”

Like for so many, the private and the work persona can differ in many ways and that applies to preferences and tastes as well. It is intriguing to talk to people whose job is strongly linked to aesthetics and visual preferences and to see how they marry their professional tastes with the private ones at home.

We are interested to knowjust what does an interior designer, an architecture and design journalist, and a collector for the past 40 years has on her walls?

“I have a varied collection of art in my home including aboriginal artwork, hand-crafted, limited editions, paper and ink, mixed media and my husband’s own! If I had to choose the piece I like the most it would be Scarlet Onsen, mixed media by Catherine Whitting.  This is a very strong work with red and black colouring, which I find both stimulating and energetic,”

What will you be looking for in the winning artworks?

“I will be looking for originality of style and composition, clarity of thinking by the artist and discovering a new way of using materials. I hope to discover new talent through the prize.”

Welcome and thank you for joining us Kate! The pleasure is definitely ours.

Meet Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross (left, with guest curator Mariam Arcilla, photograph by Michelle Xen, in front of artwork by Ricky Larry)

We feel privileged to welcome a local, Gold Coast cultural figure, Rebecca Ross, on board our judging panel.

As an influential art and cultural figure and a passionate supporter of emerging artists, Rebecca Ross brings a contemporary, intrepid and unique flair to the prize.

Rebecca Ross is a practicing artist, designer, academic at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, and Artistic Director of The Walls Art Space on the Gold Coast. She has undertaken public art commissions locally, exhibited nationally and participated in group exhibitions and international artists in residence programs worldwide including Malta, Italy, New Zealand and the USA.

Rebecca has a drive and the enthusiasm to shape the cultural scene of the Gold Coast, to run a contemporary art space that provides opportunities and engagement for both artists and the art lovers and she lives right on the pulse of the contemporary Australian art scene.

“My life revolves and has evolved around art. It is my livelihood and lifestyle,” Rebecca described. “[It is about] colour and curiosity in the works that I own and live with as well as the clashes of colour and patterns.” But visual aesthetics go far beyond the walls of her home. It is all around us, in the changing colours of the sea, the shades of green in the garden or in the filtering natural light.

How would she describe her own, personal taste in art and what would an artistic director of one of Gold Coast’s most exciting art spaces have on her own walls?

“My taste is art is bold, conceptual and ever changing,”

“The art in my home is a melange of contemporary art works, ranging in medium from paint to light. My favourite piece is a text painting by Sebastian Moody. I saw it at a solo show he had in Brisbane a few years ago and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for 2 weeks. I contacted him and asked if it was still available and it was. It has lived with me ever since and I still love it.”

So how does one part with all the art that comes in and out of their everyday life? What makes her purchase a piece of art?

“I’ve always lived in small spaces so it can be tricky to collect art. My role as Artistic Director at THE WALLS enables me to be temporary custodian of works on a monthly basis, which is like a temporary form of collecting. A lot of the works I own I have purchased to support art spaces or emerging artists.“

What will you be looking for in your judging of the Prize?

“I am looking for innovation in technique and materials, engagement with contemporary art context and an element of surprise! I am looking forward to meeting and discovering new artists.”

The Art Lovers Community Vote

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Photo courtesy of Left Bank Gallery

The third judge is the voice of our Art Lovers community.  Our subscribers vote for their favourite artworks and these votes count towards the final judging.  The bonus is the voter goes in the draw to win $1000 art voucher.  If you’d like to have your say then please head over to our gallery and start “hearting” your favourite artworks.

So Vote Here Now!

PS-   Kate St James will be joining us at the Art Lovers Australia Prize opening night on April 7th at the Left Bank Gallery on the Gold Coast, and will be officially announcing the Art Lovers Prize Winners.  Tickets available soon, so stay tuned.

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