The Bald Archy Prize exhibition set yet another attendance record for the Swanpool and district community, with 4142 visitors attending during the 16 days that it was on display.
‘‘The volunteers are all very tired, especially the catering volunteers, who served over 2700 meals, which is 1000 more than in previous years,’’ event co-ordinator Barry O’Connor said.
‘‘While the volunteers were weary after a marathon 16 days, they were pleased with the numerous compliments they received for the professional presentation of the event and the quality of the food provided.’’
All funds raised from the Swanpool exhibition are distributed to local not-for-profit community groups and projects, based on each group’s volunteer contribution to the event.
Creator and director of the Bald Archy Prize, Peter Batey OAM, said the 2016 exhibition was one of the best in the 23-year history of the prize.
This statement was certainly confirmed with a large number of entries receiving high vote counts in the People’s Choice award.
The final result went down to the final few votes and in racing terms was won by a short half head.
The winner of the Swanpool People’s Choice award, with 12 per cent of the votes, was Anthony Mitchell’s work Get Stuffed, which depicts Michelle Payne, resplendent in high-heeled riding boots, after winning the Melbourne Cup.
Anthony is a Ballarat artist, who had a great deal of enjoyment depicting Michelle, who is also a Ballarat resident.
In second place with 11 per cent of the votes, was Arthur Piwko’s work, Tramp, which depicts Bill Shorten in a similar guise to Charlie Chaplin.
Only six per cent of voters agreed with the judge’s choice of the prize-winning work by Pat Hudson, which depicts Cardinal George Pell with Nothing to Say.
— Barry O’Connor