Future's bright for new mix of artists

ESTABLISHED artists, keen amateurs and yet-to-be discovered talent are in the running for a prestigious art prize.

Almost 100 entries have come in for the inaugural Coffs Harbour City Council Portrait Prize, and the community is invited to attend the announcement of the winner at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery on Friday at 6pm.

Entries will be on show at the gallery until May 31.

Among the familiar faces on show will be singing star Jon English, who hopes to be at the opening, and Coffs Harbour mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades.

"This has been a better response than, I think, anyone expected in the portrait prize's first year," said Cr Ian Hogbin, who is on the Bunker Cartoon Gallery board.

"Such a level of enthusiasm augurs very well for the future."

The talented winner will take the top award of $1000, provided by the city council.

There will also be a sponsor's choice award of $200, donated by Estuary Residential Estate at Moonee.

The council's gallery and museum curator, Dr Leigh Summers, is excited about the competition.

"We're seeing entries from people who may have been inspired to put their artwork on public display for the very first time alongside artists whose works have already been hung in some of our most prestigious galleries," she said.

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