A BODY representing visual artists says directors of the Goulburn Art Award should publicly apologise over its management.
The National Association for Visual Artists (NAVA) has written to Goulburn Regional Art Gallery about its concerns.
NAVA executive director Tamara Winikoff told the Post yesterday that her organisation had received several complaints from members. They have challenged the eligibility of winning entry, a sculpture by local artist Tracy Luff, titled 'Through Thick and Thin.'
The work scooped the $10,000 Veoila Environmental Services National Art Award at the gallery on March 31.
Controversy has erupted in the aftermath with critics saying the sculpture did not meet the 3D criteria of “1 metre by 1 metre by 1 metre maximum size”.
Some artists have demanded their entry money back. But Mrs Luff argued the 2.3m x 0.93m x 0.3m work equated to 0.6417 metre cubed, which was within the limit.
She said any sculptor would interpret the rules in this way and she had also clarified its eligibility with gallery director, Jane Cush.
The NAVA disagrees. Ms Winikoff says the entry form is clear and the one metre reference refers to set dimensions.
Her organisation is an advocacy group for visual artists. Mrs Winikoff said its interest was also to ensure that professional standards were adhered to.
“We have written to the art gallery director and said that on the information given to us it appears that the award directors have broken the terms of the contract with entrants,” she said.
“Entrants signed a document about the award conditions, which spelt out particular sizes, and we are led to believe the winning entry was larger than that specified.”
Mrs Winikoff said for this reason the award directors should publicly apologise and offer monetary compensation to all other entrants who didn’t win due this interpretation of the rules.
This would go a long way to preserving the award’s integrity, she said. NAVA is asking for a response and will follow up their queries if it’s not forthcoming.
Mrs Winikoff said her only interest was in mediating a solution to keep all parties happy.
“We are not recommending that the award be stripped from the winner, because it was not her fault,” she said.