The 45th Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards 2020

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The 45th Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards 2020

The Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards will be held again this year, marking the 45th anniversary of the Art Awards in 2020. Since its inauguration in 1976, the Art Awards have become one of Queensland’s most prestigious regional art events and is eagerly anticipated each year. The 2019 edition of the Art Awards attracted 372 entries from established, emerging and amateur artists from across the country and over 4,395 visitors attended the exhibition and supported public programs. 

Martin Hanson (1923-1976) was a popular and highly-respected local businessman who was Member for Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Port Curtis 1963-1976, and patron to the Gladstone Artists Club. As a tribute to his patronage, in conjunction with the Hanson family, the Gladstone Artists Club held the first Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards and Exhibition in 1976.

The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum became the custodian of the Art Awards in 1993.

From 1976 until her passing in 1998, Mary Hanson, Martin Hanson’s widow, officially opened the exhibition and presented the prizes in memory of her late husband. Their daughter, Elizabeth Zussino, has continued their family’s commitment through sponsorship of The Local Murri Artist Award.

The Art Awards were renamed in 2007 in recognition of Rio Tinto’s generous support of the Art Awards and arts in Queensland, which continues today.

In 2014, the format of the Art Awards changed with the addition of a fourth section of entry, Digital Works, adding to the three existing sections of entry: Easel PaintingsWorks on Paper, Three Dimensional and Fibre Works. The same year, Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) also supported the inauguration of The QAL People's Choice Awards, inviting the general public to vote for their favourite works on display within all sections of entry. 

The Art Awards are only possible each year due to the ongoing generous support from local individuals, businesses and industry. The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum is thankful to have these positive sponsor relationships and strives hard every year to ensure that the Art Awards are unforgettable.

The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum has confirmed the judge for this year’s Art Awards to be Sue Smith. Ms Smith is an artist, writer and curator. She has held the position of Art Collection Manager at CQUniversity Australia since August 2012, after serving for nine years as Director of the Rockhampton Art Gallery and Manager Art Services for the Rockhampton Regional Council. Ms Smith is sure to provide exciting insight and interpretation of our region’s most prestigious art awards.

Visit the Exhibitions page for more information.