Archibald finalists 2017 Goulburn opening

The 2017 Archibald Prize finalists exhibition opened on Friday night at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.

Ben Quilty, the 2011 winner of prestigious portrait prize, opened the exhibition, which is on display till August 19.

Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald Prize is a who's who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities and from sporting heroes to artists.

Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia's foremost portraiture award, with $100,000 for the winning artist.

In its 96th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921, and is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.

Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting.

Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW before embarking on a year-long regional tour.

General admission to the Gallery during the exhibition is $5, under 12s are free, on Saturday and Sundays noon to 4pm.

Goulburn Regional Art Gallery is on the corner of Bourke and Church streets. Queries: 4823 4494