Lake Art Prize 2020

Lake Art Prize 2020 - Entries Now Open

The Lake Art Prize is open to all Australian Artists aged 18 years and over.

The Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie is thrilled to announce the Lake Art Prize, a new biennial National Acquisitive Prize for Contemporary Australian Art - valued at $25,000.

Australian artists, aged 18 years and over, are invited to submit works which reflect on the theme 'Where there is Water'.

There is a total acquisitive prize pool of $25,000 (ex GST), with the funding made available by the generosity and support of Lake Macquarie City Council.

Contending artworks will be across all media and can take any form, including sculpture, painting, drawing, photomedia, installation, sound, and a single piece or multi-piece artwork.

The prize culminates with selected artworks being displayed in a finalist exhibition at MAC. The inaugural Prize Exhibition will take place between 12 December 2020 – 7 February 2021.

The prize includes a People’s Choice Award – valued at $2,000 (ex GST) – a non-acquisitive award to the artwork with the highest number of audience votes over the period of the finalist exhibition.

Voters will also go into the draw to win MAC Packs and Sculpture park café vouchers.


Key Dates

  • Artwork must be completed 23 October 2019 – 23 October, 2020.
  • Entries close (digital submission) at midnight Friday 23 October, 2020.
  • Finalists will be notified on 30 October, 2020.
  • Delivery of finalist exhibition artworks: by 4pm Friday 27 November 2020.
  • Lake Art Prize 2020 Winner will be announced on 12 December, 2020.
  • Finalist Exhibition will be held 12 December 2020 – 7 February 2021.
  • Announcement of The 2020 LAKE prize People’s Choice award: 5 February 2021.

Artist and artwork information

  • Artist eligibility period: Resident in Australia 23 October 2019 – 23 October 2020.
  • Artist eligibility age: 18 years or older on 23 October 2020
  • Date of artwork: Must be completed 23 October 2019 – 23 October 2020.
  • Administration Fee: $35 (non- refundable) per artwork entry.
  • Artwork not to have been exhibited (digitally or physically) as a finalist in another art prize.
  • Artwork can be of any medium including sculpture, painting, drawing, photomedia, installation, sound, fibre arts and a single piece or multi-piece artwork.
  • The artwork does not exceed 250cm in any given dimension (including installation of multi-piece artworks) and not exceed 20kg in total.
  • Entry is limited to one work per person or collective.
  • The artwork must reflect the theme as articulated in an accompanying short statement.
  • Deadline: Entries by digital submission close at midnight Friday 23 October 2020.

How to Apply

Digital entries, including fee payment and all information, must be submitted via SmartyGrants by midnight Friday 23 October 2020 (AEST).

Late entries will not be accepted. Visit the SmartyGrants application page for more information.

Lake Art Prize Online Applications


Terms and Conditions

There is a total acquisitive prize pool of $25,000 (ex GST). All works in the final exhibition are for sale and available to be acquired by Lake Macquarie City Council.

The artist’s sale price (ex GST) of the work is the acquisitive prize value. If the winning artwork is for sale at less than $25,000, the judging panel may select another work for acquisition. This means a second or third artwork may be acquired, but there is only one winner.

The Lake Art Prize is open to all Australians (citizens or resident for at least 12 months) who are 18 years and older on 23 October 2020.

Entrants must have Australia listed as their main place of residence. (Proof of age or citizenship may be required)

A full list of terms and conditions are available on the SmartyGrants website.


MAC and Water

As Lake Macquarie’s Museum of Art and Culture is nestled on the foreshore of this country’s largest coastal saltwater lake, overlooking an active marina, it is not surprising that water is an ongoing theme in the exhibition programming and collection development.

The changing weather reflected in the lake’s surface each day, the yachts sailing by, the visitors’ delight in the splendour of the surrounds, and the deep sense of the site’ Aboriginal significance, always remind us of where we are.

In working with the theme, artists not only embrace notions of location, but also explore water as a metaphor or narrative to describe aspects of survival, human emotion, and the state of the environment.

This major acquisitive Prize will signal ongoing development of Lake Macquarie’s Cultural Collections as an exhibition resource and community cultural asset under the collection theme of ‘Still Waters, Clear Visions’.


Further Information

Meryl Ryan, Senior Curator, Museum of Art and Culture, Lake Macquarie

lakeartprize@lakemac.nsw.gov.au T: 4921 0382 (main); M: 0437 847 146