68 artists from across Australia have been selected as finalists in the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), Australia's most illustrious and long standing Indigenous art awards.
280 entries were submitted by First Nation artists from regional and urban areas across Australia, with the selection of finalists taking place last week in Sydney.
24 finalists are from the Northern Territory, with 20 from Western Australia, 18 from South Australia and the remainder from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
Telstra NATSIAA is diverse and accessible, welcoming entries from established and emerging artists who inspire audiences across Australia. This year's exhibition highlights eight finalists for the Telstra Emerging Artist Award from across Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
MAGNT Director Marcus Schutenko said: "MAGNT is thrilled to receive such an exciting range of emerging and established artists' entries from each Australian state and territory. This year, the selection panel have identified a range of artwork across a large breadth of mediums. I wish to congratulate the well-deserved 68 finalists for their accolade."
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said: "Telstra's connection to the NATSIAA stretches back nearly 30 years and we are always incredibly proud to be involved. The Awards now stand as a globally significant artistic celebration and enormous credit for that must go to MAGNT for providing such a brilliant showcase for the unique creativity and diverse talents of Indigenous artists. The quality and scope of the work this year is again superb. Whatever the style, whatever the medium, there is an extraordinary power and beauty in Indigenous art and I cannot wait to see it in person when the winners are announced in August."
MAGNT Curator of Aboriginal Art Luke Scholes said, "Once again, the calibre of this year's Telstra NATSIAA finalists is extraordinary. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art continues to evolve, and Telstra NATSIAA continues to be the place to witness this shift in process." "The Emerging Artist category continues to breathe new life into the Awards and the broader arts sector. It's rewarding to profile these trailblazing artists and to share their skill, voice and cultures."
The winners of the 36th Telstra NATSIAA will be announced at an awards ceremony at MAGNT's Bullocky Point facility on Friday 9 August 2019.