40 Finalists for 2020 Lester Prize Announced

Design / Life

The Lester Prize is celebrating its fourteenth anniversary in 2020 and its fifth year at the Art Gallery of WA.

The Lester Prize is one of the nation’s most recognised and prestigious fine art prizes. The prize pool available to professional, emerging and young artists is now worth almost $85,000, including the main prize of $50,000.

This year’s forty finalists were chosen from 750 entries received from artists across Australia. Twelve finalists are from WA, eight from NSW, seven from VIC, five from SA, three each from QLD and TAS, and one each from the ACT and NT. Sixteen of the finalists have been named as finalists in previous years of the competition.

This year’s Main Awards Panel comprises of Western Australian artist Abdul-Rahman Abdullah; AGWA Associate Curator, Projects Rachel Ciesla; Alan R Dodge AM; Perth based arts writer and curators Gemma Weston and Laetitia Wilson.

The finalists’ artworks will be on display in the Centenary Galleries at AGWA from 31 October to 29 November 2020. The Awards will be announced 30 October at the Awards Night. Tickets will be on sale in late September.

Colin Walker, AGWA Director, said, “Congratulations to the forty artists whose works have been selected for inclusion in the State’s premier portraiture prize, The Lester Prize. It’s great to see so many artists from around the country taking part. I look forward to welcoming this year’s finalists and their works to the Art Gallery of WA and I wish them all the best for the announcement of the top prize on 30 October.”

This year’s prize pool consists of:

The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture (selected by a panel of judges) | $50,000
Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers) | $10,000 cash
Minderoo Foundation Artist Prize | $10,000 cash
Baldock Family People’s Choice Prize (selected by the general public) | $7,500 cash
Highly Commended x 2 (selected by a panel of judges) | $1,000 cash, $550 domestic art transport voucher, $500 framing voucher plus $250 art supplies voucher each



Art Gallery of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre
Perth, WA 6000

The finalists’ works will be on display at AGWA from 31 October – 29 November 2020