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Media Release: Art prize now open to talented refugee artists

12 February 20130 comments

Paintings, drawings, photography and mixed media works from refugees who have arrived in Australia since 1970, are now being sought for this year’s Heartlands Refugee Art Prize.

Refugee artists are encouraged to consider and share what they would like to see in the world and submit entries that reflect the new theme ‘I wish to see…’

This year the prize pool has grown considerably, with over $20,000 to be shared by three primary prize‐winners, a newly arrived prize and an artist in residence prize. First prize is $12,000.

Now in its fourth year, the AMES and Multicultural Arts Victoria Heartlands Refugee Art Prize celebrates the skills, talents and creativity that refugees bring to Australia and the social and cultural contributions they provide to our community.

Adam Baxter from AMES said the prize was an important way to showcase the talents, artistic skills and creativity of refugee artists and open up pathways for artists to develop their careers. “This year’s theme, ‘I wish to see…’ was motivated by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous words. The new theme is designed to give refugees the opportunity to freely express what they want to see in the world without any restrictions,” Adam said.

“Over the last three years, the quality and number of entries continues to increase and with a significantly increased prize pool on offer, we look forward to seeing even more outstanding creative work again this year.”

Entries close Friday 10 May 2013. For more information call 03 9188 3681, visit or email

Winners will be announced at the Heartlands Refugee Art Prize exhibition launch on Thursday 20 June.

Shortlisted and winning works will be showcased at fortyfivedownstairs in Flinders Lane from 18‐30 June 2013 during Refugee Week, at the Walker Street Gallery in Dandenong from 4-7 July as part of the Emerge Festival and Werribee Park from 1‐14 September.

All exhibited works apart from first prize will be available for sale.

The Heartlands Refugee Art Prize is presented by AMES and Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with Parks Victoria, VicHealth and the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The Prize is proudly supported by fortyfivedownstairs, STARTTS, Relationships Australia Victoria, City of Greater Dandenong, Walker Street Gallery, Arts Victoria and the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

For images, interviews and more information contact:

0408 147 914
Twitter: @heartlandsprize