Coolum artist wins best in show at exhibition showcasing local life

Local Artist – Local Life Best of Show Winner Alison Mooney and Judge John Waldron. The exhibition will be on display at the Caloundra Regional Gallery until May 8. Photo: Contributed

AN EXCITING celebration of Sunshine Coast artists is now on show in the Local Artists—Local Art Prize exhibition at Caloundra Regional Gallery until May 8 and Coolum artist Alison Mooney has been declared the winner/best in show for her piece ‘Saturday Morning’.

The exhibition showcases a remarkable range of artists within the region and Ms Mooney said this was the first time she had entered the Local Artist Local Content art prize.

“I was inspired by a great discussion on my Instagram with artists all over the world about how they feel being described as a ‘local artist’,” Ms Mooney said.

“Some artists absolutely dislike it, saying the term discounts the fact that the majority of their art and practice exists outside their immediate neighbourhood, while a lot of non-artists liked knowing who was an artist in their neighbourhood.

“It was such a great discussion that I had to put a work in.”

Alison said that she usually only shows her studio work outside of the local region and that the art prize was a great opportunity as an artist working on the coast to showcase her work to the local Sunshine Coast community.

“There’s a lot of beautiful work in the show and I’m very grateful to both the selection team and judge John Waldron for the honour.”

Caloundra Regional Gallery Curator Jo Duke said The Local Artists—Local Content Art Prize was an initiative of Friends of Regional Gallery Caloundra and celebrated the diversity of visual arts practice across the Sunshine Coast.

“The Prize invites works across a range of genres, from regional artists depicting local themes and creates a visual embodiment of our spectacular region,” Ms Duke said.

“There is something for everyone, with works in all different mediums and in all areas of expression, from realism to abstraction, to patterns formed within the outer and inner landscapes.

“The exhibition presents the 40 finalist artworks and viewed together, they highlight the varied and unique natural landscapes, as well as the towns of our region and the communities, which all reflect the Sunshine Coast and its people.”

Sunshine Coast Council Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the exhibition showcased the many contrasting ways of seeing the time and place we live in here on the Sunshine Coast.

“I sincerely thank and congratulate each artist for putting themselves forward through their art and I encourage the community to spend time pondering their world view and to support them by visiting the gallery and voting for the people’s choice award or viewing online.”

The works will be acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, helping to build council’s holdings of local art in its public collection.

Aligned with the exhibition, is the Local Student Art Prize in the Gallery’s Artroom.

The Local Student Art Prize is an inspiring glimpse into the creative future of the Sunshine Coast by honouring artwork from local students depicting local themes.

Winners’ and Finalist artworks are available to view at

Caloundra Regional Gallery is owned and operated by Sunshine Coast Council and is an

all-access area. Entry is free and opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm.

Visit to view the finalists and find out about exhibition events.

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