Community News

2016 JADA finalists announced

Forty five artists have been selected as finalists in the Grafton Regional Gallery’s 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) after a record 568 entries from more than 400 artists.

As in previous years a number of celebrated Australian artists are represented in the 2016 JADA finalists including 2003 Mosman Art Prize winner Noel McKenna, 2000 Archibald People’s Choice winner Esther Erlich, 2012 Goulburn Regional Art Award winner Stephen Fearnley, International Drawing Research Institute at COFA inaugural winner Michael Esson, and Locust Jones, whose work is widely exhibited and collected across Australia.

Clarence Valley artist Elizabeth Slater and Dorrigo’s Chris Hundt were also selected as finalists and are among 10 artists from the northern regions of New South Wales represented in the JADA finalist selection.

Gallery director, Jude McBean, said she was excited by the JADA finalist selection and is looking forward to showcasing the works in the JADA exhibition upcoming in October at the gallery.

“The 2016 JADA finalist selection really drives home the high quality of drawing we consistently see from Australian artists,” she said.

“It is such an honour to be able to present an exhibition that showcases contemporary Australian drawing from artists who are well-known across the country, to our artists based right here in the Clarence Valley producing incredible work.

“The artworks selected as 2016 JADA finalists also showcase a diverse range of drawing from traditional pencil on paper, to contemporary drawing with animation, three-dimensional sculpture, and neon inks.”

Twenty three of the JADA finalist artists come from New South Wales, 13 are from Victoria, four from Queensland, two from Western Australia, and one each from Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The 45 finalists’ drawings will be presented in the 2016 JADA exhibition, on show at the Grafton Regional Gallery from October 28 to December 10. The exhibition will then tour to eight galleries across New South Wales and Queensland until 2018.

With $30,000 first prize and further acquisitions to the value of $10,000 the JADA is one of Australia’s richest drawing awards. The JADA has built an impressive collection of contemporary Australian drawing at the Grafton Regional Gallery. This is development has been made possible with the award being judged by internationally renowned judges such as 2016’s JADA judge, gallery patron, Ken Done AM.

This major cultural event in presented every two years by the Grafton Regional Gallery, a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council.

For a full list of finalists, go to or