27 August - 13 November 2016

Free exhibition

The KILGOUR PRIZE 2016 is the 6th iteration of Newcastle's annual art prize for figurative and portrait painting. It awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work of art, and a People’s Choice of $5000 is also awarded to the painting voted most popular by the general public. Each year the Gallery receives hundreds of applications from across Australia.

Jack Noel Kilgour (1900–1987) was an Australian artist well-known for his academic approach to landscape and portrait painting. In 1987 Kilgour bequeathed funds for the creation of a major figurative and portrait art competition to be run in perpetuity at Newcastle Art Gallery. As one of Australia’s major art prizes, KILGOUR PRIZE continues a long history of benefaction to the Gallery.

The KILGOUR PRIZE is financed by the Jack Noel Kilgour bequest, administered by The Trust Company, Part of Perpetual. For more information about the prize including its history, application form and frequently asked questions, visit the KILGOUR PRIZE page.


2016 Winner: Peter Gardiner

Newcastle's own Peter Gardiner is the recipient of the KILGOUR PRIZE 2016. Gardiner received the prize for his painting Origin - Landscape 2016. He lives and practices as an artist in Newcastle's Tighes Hill area.

'Like a lot of my paintings, this one grew organically from an idea I had about a figure in the Australian bush, which I see as a fairly dark and hostile environment, and how it contrasts with the innocence and openness of the figure', said Gardiner of his winning painting. 'This is such a special prize for me because Newcastle Art Gallery was one of the first public institutions that collected my work and showed an interest in me. The KILGOUR PRIZE is only going to get better and better over the years and it's great to be a part of the Gallery's history.'

Gardiner's work has been highly recognised in Australia. He received the Caleen Art Prize in 2011, the Muswellbrook Art Prize in 2009 and the Maitland Art Prize in 2003, and he has been a finalist in previous years for the KILGOUR PRIZE, the Wynne Prize, the Dobell Prize and the Mosman Prize.

This year the judges chose 35 finalists from an entry pool of 200 works of art, and then the final winner from the 35 shortlisted works. This years judges were: Lauretta Morton (Manager, Newcastle Art Gallery), Deborah Edwards (Curatorial Consultant, Art Gallery of New South Wales), and Peter Sharp (Artist and Lecturer (Drawing), University of New South Wales, School of Art and Design).

Shortly following the exhibition, the Newcastle Art Gallery Society purchased the winning work, donating it to the Gallery collection.

The KILGOUR PRIZE is financed by the Jack Noel Kilgour bequest, administered by The Trust Company, Part of Perpetual. For more information about the prize, visit the  KILGOUR PRIZE page.


KILGOUR PRIZE 2016 Winner and People's Choice

Kilgour Prize 2016 Winner: Peter GARDINER 'Origin / Landscape' 2016
People's Choice: Liam AMBROSE 'Men with beards remind her of her father' 2015


2016 Finalists

Liam Ambrose
Michael Bell
Nicola Bolton
Clare Brodie
Isobel Clement
Rachel Coad
Tony Costa
Anh Do
Sophie Dunlop
Katherine Edney
Esther Erlich
Robert Ewing
Dongwang Fan
Julie Fragar
Peter Gardiner
Michael Lindeman
Steve Lopes
Robert Malherbe
Matt R Martin
Darren McDonald
Carolyn McKay
Edward Milan
Rachel Thomas
Michael Muir
Sally O'Callaghan
Effie Pryer
Paul Ryan
Wendy Sharpe
Ben Smith
Pablo Tapia
Craig Waddell
Natasha Walsh
Heidi Yardley
Michael Zavros


  • Exhibition entry FREE


Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill