For the Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize's fifth edition, APA president Shane Sody hopes artists will take the opportunity to “inspire” appreciation of our city's green belt while pitching for a piece of the $50,000 prize money.

Shane Sody, President of Adelaide Park Lands Association (APA), says his organisation has four main goals relating to our city’s green belt: explore, protect, restore and inspire.

Through this year’s APA Art Prize, Shane hopes to achieve the latter – and not only for the participating artists.

“This is a two-way thing,” Shane says.

“We want artists who are inspired by the Park Lands to inspire other people to appreciate the Adelaide Park Lands.

“It’s not a one-way thing – inspiration breeds inspiration.”

Shane expects artists will express themselves in whatever way they feel they can, including, for the first time in the biennial prize’s fifth edition, through digital art. A new digital category offers artists working in the pixel realm the opportunity to win a $2000 cash prize.

“We thought it might encourage more entries from what we think is a growing number of artists who are working in the digital space,” Shane says.

The 2023 Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize boasts $50,000 of prize money across all its categories, the third largest pool of an art prize in South Australia.

The first prize winner receives $20,000, while the remaining $30,000 is separated between five categories and 10 Judges Commendations, totalling $2,000 for each prize.

Award categories include Young Artist (under 25), School Student, Digital Art prize, People’s Choice and the Emerging Artist award.

Shane is especially excited for the Emerging Artist award, which is a new addition for the 2023 APA Art Prize.

“That’s to capture the people who aren’t professional artists and who might not be under 25,” Shane says.

“You could be learning to paint in your 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s.

“A lot of people, I think, maybe when they reach retirement or later in their life have more time to devote to things like this.”

Shane, who himself is not an artist, is looking forward to seeing the wide variety of approaches artists will take.

“I’m in the Park Lands every day, but to look at it through somebody else’s eyes – and especially a creative person who has taken that opportunity to look at it in a quite often sometimes quirky way,” he says.

Shane encourages anyone with creative inclinations and an interest in the Park Lands to “give it a go”.

“You’ll be in good company, and you will create something of lasting value to yourself and to everyone who looks at it and appreciates it,” he says.

The artists will also able to sell their works over the six weeks they will be exhibited at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Artists will get 70 per cent of the sale price and the APA will take a 30 per cent commission, which Shane says “goes to support all four streams: explore, inspire, protect, restore”.

“So, if you think those four things are worth supporting, if you sell your artwork, you know that 30 per cent will be going towards them, and the other 70 per cent will go in your pocket,” Shane says.

For those who are not looking to participate, but would still like to support the cause, donations and sponsorships are also available.

“Adelaide is famous for two things: it’s the city of the festival of arts, which it has been for many decades, and it’s the only city in the world built inside a park – so this is the one event that brings those two things together,” Shane says. “If you want to be associated with those two things then this is the vehicle for that.”

Entries close on 31 January 2023 and the Prize will be showing at the Adelaide Festival Centre from 24 March to 7 May 2023.

For more information or to apply, visit the website.

Words: Sophie Holder | Image: Johnny Von Einem