THE Gippsland Art Gallery is eagerly anticipating the opening of the Archibald Prize 2021, which will be on display from Friday, October 8, to Sunday, November 21.

The exhibition will feature a stunning collection of activities, tours and talks for all ages.

Located in Sale, the Gippsland Art Gallery is the only place to see this extraordinary exhibition in Victoria as part of the Archibald Prize 2021 regional Australian tour.

Celebrating its centenary this year, the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Archibald Prize is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize.

First awarded in 1921, it is the country’s oldest and best-loved portrait award, and one of its most prestigious.

Awarded to the best portrait painting, the prize attracts entries from both prominent and emerging artists in Australia and New Zealand, and features celebrated figures from all walks of life.

A total of 52 portraits will be on display in this year’s exhibition, including 2021 Archibald Prize winner, Melbourne-based Peter Wegner’s portrait of fellow artist and centenarian Guy Warren.

Also on display will be the Packing Room Prize winner, Kathrin Longhurst’s portrait of much-loved singer Kate Ceberano and the People’s Choice winner, Melbourne-based Julia Ciccarone with her stunning self-portrait titled ‘The sea within’.

A dynamic program of exciting events will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition, with most activities included in the cost of a regular ticket. Highlights include:

* Friday Up Late – Every Friday night, from October 15 to November 19, the Port of Sale will come alive to showcase the art gallery and the Archibald exhibition, with visitors able to listen to live music, whilst feasting on local produce and beverages.

* Pop Up Portrait Speed Dates – Happening multiple times each week, visitors will be joined by a Gallery Guide and get personal with some of the artworks in the Archibald exhibition.

* Guided Tours – Happening at 2.15pm every Saturday and Sunday, visitors will be led around the exhibition by one of Gippsland Art Gallery’s knowledgeable guides as they give greater insight into some of the Archibald Prize artworks hanging in this year’s exhibition (note: tours are selling fast).

Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to plan a weekend escape or mid-week break to not only experience the Archibald Prize, but to experience everything else the central Gippsland region has to offer.

Sale is the ideal base for exploring the wider Gippsland region, with destinations such as 90 Mile Beach, Port Albert, Tarra Bulga National Park, Yarram’s Heesco murals and plenty of wineries and dining experiences all within easy reach. For further travel inspiration, accommodation and transport options, visit archibaldprizegippsland.com.au/plan-your-visit.

“Another exciting exhibition happening at the Gippsland Art Gallery is the Young Archie, which is comprised of 50 impressive portraits by young artists aged 5 to 25 who live, study or work in the Wellington Shire, or have studied in the Wellington Shire in the past four years,” Wellington Shire Council Mayor Cr Garry Stephens said.

The Young Archie will be on display on level two of the Gippsland Art Gallery from September 27 to November 21, and entry is free.

Tickets to the Archibald Prize 2021 in Gippsland are priced at $17 for adults, $15 for seniors, $11 for concession (card holders and students) and $9 for children (aged 5 to 17). A group discount of $15 per ticket applies to groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at archibaldprizegippsland.com.au.

Follow @gippsartgallery on Instagram or @gippslandartgallery on Facebook.

For those unable to attend due to COVID restrictions, virtual content will be made available during the exhibition on the website.

The Gippsland Art Gallery complies with COVID-19 safe regulations. More information on the website.