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Bald Archy celebrated

The popular Bald Archy exhibition was officially opened in Deniliquin on Saturday night.

April 2, 2014 4:23am

The support provided by Deniliquin Council in staging the Bald Archy Prize was recognised by its founder on Saturday night.

Speaking at the official opening of the exhibition at the Peppin Heritage Centre, Peter Batey acknowledged not only Council’s support in hosting the Bald Archy Prize, but also its commitment to ensuring everyone could afford to view it.

Entry to the exhibition at the PHC is by a gold coin donation, whereas Mr Batey said at one Sydney venue even a six-year old child pays $3.

This year is the 21st anniversary of the Bald Archy Prize, described as ‘‘the prize that laughs at art’s lighter side’’.

Although originally created as something of a joke, it has become an icon on the Australian art calendar, particularly because of the absurdist nature of the event, calling for irreverent comic and satirical images of well-known Australians.

To celebrate, Mr Batey was asked to blow out the candles on a birthday cake at Saturday night’s opening, and was presented with a tapestry of the cockatoo Maude, who famously judges the Bald Archys.

This is the 11th year the Bald Archy Prize has been exhibited in Deniliquin, which is privileged to be on a limited tour schedule of only nine venues across Sydney, Canberra, and a number of regional centres in NSW and Victoria.

The efforts and dedication of Deniliquin Council’s tourism officers, Denise Thomas and Jane Frazer, in staging the exhibition were also recognised at Saturday night’s official opening.

This year the Baldy Archy Prize again features a wide range of prominent Australians, with those attracting particular attention including a number of politicians such as Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and sporting and television personalities.

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