WHEN the Archibald Prize comes along each year the notoriously wicked Bald Archy Prize is never far behind.
Fresh from its Sydney showing, where thousands flocked to see it, the Bald Archy Tour 2012 will be on show in Coffs Harbour at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery from Friday, May 11.
A regular annual event at the Bunker, the Bald Archy Prize is the popular portrait competition in which artists take a comical look at well-known Australians.
Now nearly 20 years old, the Bald Archy allows artists to add an extra dollop of humour, expressiveness and playfulness, to the canvas. Prize Founder Peter Batey OBE employs unconventional methods for running the event including having the winner judged by his pet cockatoo, Maude.
"This year Maude's unerring eye chose as the winner a first-time entrant, former aged care worker Allie Campbell, whose portraits of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were framed in old bedpans," said Gallery Curator/Director Dr Leigh Summers.
"I think the statement she was trying to make is pretty clear to us all - and was obviously a sentiment with which Maude agreed."
The Opening Night will begin at 6pm on Friday, May 11. Entry is $10.00 and includes light refreshments.
The Bald Archy Prize 2010 runs at the Bunker Gallery until Saturday June 2. Entry is $5 for adults and $3 for children. The gallery hours are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday. The Bunker Cartoon Gallery is located at John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour.
And if that's not fun enough, sharing the Bunker space with the Bald Archy Prize exhibition will be works of award-winning artist, Eric Löbbecke.
For over 22 years, as editorial cartoonist and illustrator for The Australian, Eric has irreverently sketched most of the world's rich and powerful. He has received many prestigious awards including three coveted Walkley Awards, multiple Stanley Awards from the cartooning industry and five prizes in Coffs Harbour's own Rotary Cartoon Awards.
He has also been the winner of two Bald Archy Prizes in past years and was named 'Artist of the Year' by News Ltd in 2010.
Eric will be the special guest at a fundraising evening for the 24th Rotary Cartoon Awards to be held in the gardens of Dolphin Marine Magic (the Pet Porpoise Pool) on Friday, May 25, and will also be at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery on Saturday, May 26.