5 August - 15 October 2017
10am to 5pm Tue to Sun, 7 days during school holidays

Free exhibition

The KILGOUR PRIZE 2017 is the 7th 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 $5,000 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.

Newcastle Art Gallery announced the finalists for the KILGOUR PRIZE 2017 on 30 June 2017. The 2017 finalists include a number of artists who were born in or currently practice in Newcastle and the Hunter region, including Michael Bell, John Earle, Lucas Grogan, John Morris, Rebecca Murray and Liam Power.

Viewing with young audiences

This exhibition contains imagery which may not be suitable for young audiences. We strongly encourage visiting parents and educators to be present with their children and students in the exhibition to facilitate.

2017 Winner: 

Sydney-based artist Cameron Stead is the recipient of the KILGOUR PRIZE 2017, Newcastle Art Gallery’s prestigious annual award for figurative and portrait painting. The highly competitive award, and one of Australia's most lucrative, includes a $50,000 cash prize for the winning artist funded by the bequest of artist Jack Noel Kilgour.

Stead is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School in Sydney, which he will complete this year. This is his first time entering a national art prize. "I'm incredibly grateful to Newcastle Art Gallery for this opportunity and honestly just to be considered as a finalist," he said.

"The selection of this work also opens the prize up into the future - a brave painting that is challenging, temporary in nature and honest." said Newcastle Art Gallery Manager Lauretta Morton. "The Kilgour Prize encourages Australian artists to pursue - and to push the boundaries of - portraiture and figurative painting," she said. "It is always exciting to see how each year's entrants have interpreted that broad category. Congratulations to Cameron Stead, whose painting was chosen from an incredibly diverse pool of entries."

The judges also noted two of this year's entries for honourable mention, John Edwards' entry Young Mary-Ann Bugg on the Run 2017 and Lucas Grogan's The Wrestlers 2016.

People's Choice Award

NAG-Artists-3-KILGOUR_2017-027.jpgThe People’s Choice Award of $5,000 is awarded to the winning artist as voted by the public. Voting was available in the exhibition space at the Gallery and also online, using a voting platform generously hosted by the KILGOUR PRIZE 2017 media partner, the Newcastle Herald. Voting closed 27 September 2017. 

Local artist Rebecca Murray's oil on canvas work of art Some like it hot won the prize with a confident margin of votes - standing out amongst the 30 finalists. Voter feedback noted that the touching story of the subjects and the artist's ability to capture the likeness of this striking pair were the painting's strongest features

Kilgour 2017 Finalists:


Cover image: People's Choice Winner 2016 Liam Ambrose Men with beards remind her of her father (detail) 2015 acrylic on linen 81.5 x 81.5cm Artist collection Courtesy the artist


KILGOUR PRIZE 2017 Media Partner


  • Exhibition entry FREE


Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill