Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

Get creative: The 2017 Inner North Art Prize

Elizabeth Harris

The Front Gallery and Café is at the foreFRONT (sorry) of our minds at the moment.

Why? Because in two short months this staple of the Canberra arts and coffee scene will be hosting the second annual Inner North Art Prize.

A community-based and community-funded art prize, the Inner North Art Prize was established last year with the aim of connecting local artists and artistically minded residents by fostering an art event forged specially for the Inner North.

The exhibition will be held at The Front Gallery and Cafe in Lyneham, opening Thursday 12 October 6.30pm, and welcomes all Inner Northerners for an immersive, peculiarly Canberran experience.

With a panel of illustrious local judges (Rachael Coghlan of Craft ACT, Jacqueline Bradley of the ANU School of Art, and Michael Cammack of Canberra City Framing Gallery) this year’s Prize offers to be even bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event.

Eligible suburbs of Canberra

Eligible suburbs of Canberra

The theme for this year’s Prize is “Common Truth”, following on from 2016’s “Crossing Boundaries” which elicited over 100 entries, and produced a packed inaugural event that celebrated art and community. With over $6,000 in sales last year, the Prize is also a wonderful opportunity to pick up some stunning pieces for your abode.

If you are an up-and-coming or well-established north-side artist, entry into the Prize will earn you your own copy of the exhibition catalogue documenting all entries received for 2017, and up to 50 artists selected as finalists will see their work hung, presented, stood or placed in the exhibition at the Front Gallery in Lyneham from 12 to 29 October.

And if you win? The 2017 prize offers $3,500 worth of prizes, funded entirely from donations from the Inner North community.

Jacob England, winner of the 2016 Selectors’ Prize tells us that the $2,000 award “allowed me more time to focus on my work, and helped fund an outback trip to inspire my practice.”

Detail of "Symmetry" by Bettina Hill from the 2016 Inner North Art Prize

Detail of “Symmetry” by Bettina Hill from the 2016 Inner North Art Prize

But even if you don’t take home the pot of gold, Jacob emphasises the value of contributing to the show.

“The Inner North Art Prize was a great experience for me,” he says. “It inspired me to create, and motivated me in my practice.”

The Prize accepts all media except performance or audio-visual material, so you have plenty of room to explore and express your artistic talents whatever your own area of practice is.

the essentials

What: The 2017 Inner North Art Prize
Who: If you are living, working or studying in the Inner North (we’re looking at you, ANU School of Art), then you are invited to enter.
How: Go to
When: Entries are due by Friday 8 September and the show opens on Thursday 12 October at 6.30pm
Where: The Front Cafe and Gallery, 1 Wattle Place, Lyneham

Feature image: Detail of Kel by Tom Farrell from the 2016 Inner North Art Prize

All images via


Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is currently studying Law and Arts at the ANU. She majors in Art History and has a minor in French. She has a hunger for fashion and food, and is a lover of the fabulous Canberra arts scene and many farmers’ markets. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the arts and law, and hopes to undergo further study in this area. Alternatively, she dreams of writing an art history thesis on the subject of memes. She can commonly be found enjoying a delicious cappuccino at any one of Canberra’s staple cafes, but particularly Tilley’s which she has frequented since she was four years old. When she grows up/old she wants to be just like Iris Apfel. More about the Author