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The Bald Archies live!

Recently Wagga Wagga City Council resolved that the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga accept the offer of donation from the estate of Peter Batey OAM, to take ownership of the collection of winning portraits and to continue running the annual Bald Archy Portrait prize. There will be a call out for entries mid-late 2022 for the tour to launch in early 2023 at the Watson Arts Centre, Canberra.

Stay tuned to the website for updates later this year.
[posted 9 July 2021]

A Message from Maude … to Fans and Followers of the Bald Archy Prize

I’ve decided to take a short break after the sad death in June this year of Peter Batey, my mentor and muse.

After 26 years of irreverence, humour and the odd controversy, the Bald Archy Prize will take a break in 2020.

I treasure memories of the last 26 years as judge but, as you can imagine, it hasn’t been without its dramas.

The times he tried to influence my decisions were particularly unpleasant and censorship was always a touchy subject—not to mention the way he spoke to that unfortunate young reporter from Canberra who came to interview me.

It was then that I realised there was only one star of this show!

So, after a much-needed rest I’ll be back in 2021 as Coolac’s resident Visual Arts Laureate and sole judge of the Bald Archy Prize.

I look forward to helping build on Peter’s work and creating a fitting legacy to it.

Maude AO (pending)

The Old School House,

All arrangements for the 2019 Bald Archy Tour which is currently underway are continuing as per the tour schedule. Any enquiries please contact Liz Kelleher (0429 444 349)

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Created in 1994 as a spoof of that more serious competition, the Bald Archy Prize provides artists of all styles and standards with a genuine opportunity, ranging from the hilarious to the bizarrely vulgar, to create portrait paintings of humour, dark satire, light comedy or caricature.

Winning subjects over the years have included Kerry Packer, Amanda Vanstone, Edmund Capon, Shane Warne, Dame Edna Everage, John Howard and Pauline Hanson, Robbie and Gai Waterhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Kennett, Cardinal George Pell, Tony Abbott, and Ian Thorpe.

“the best collection of comic portraits ever seen in Sydney….”
Sunday Telegraph
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Now known internationally as the only art competition in the world to be judged by a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Maude, the satirical side of this event has its basis in the irreverent, larrikin Australian comic comment, with great appeal to people from all walks of life, the reason why the exhibition of finalists keeps breaking attendance records wherever it is shown.

Celebrating its 26th year in 2019, the exhibition begins in Canberra before going on tour throughout Eastern Australia.