• Mirjana Dobson, Synthetic Organism (detail).
  • Ursula Halpin, Caite i dtraipisi (cast aside) IV (detail).
  • Karlien Van Rooyen, High Tea (detail).
  • Marissa Ziesing, Senses of Place (detail).

Visual Arts Awards

To support emerging visual artists in South Australia, the Helpmann Academy works with numerous local organisations to present the following awards at our annual Graduate Exhibition:

2017 Visual Arts Awards:

The Hill Smith Gallery / University of South Australia Postgraduate Award
New in 2017
Recognises the achievements of a Masters or PhD candidate. $10,000 cash.

The Watson Award
An opportunity for an emerging artist to have their work become part of the The Watson’s prestigious collection. This acquisitive award recognises the winner as an artist with a promising future. $7,500 cash. 

The City Rural Insurance / Helpmann Travel Award
Provides the winning artist the opportunity to travel, informing their practice with new ideas and experiences. $5,000 cash.

The Minter Ellison Award | New in 2017
An initiative of [email protected], the Minter Ellison Award will support an emerging female artist with outstanding creative potential. $5,000 cash.

The Worth Gallery Barn Studio Award | New in 2017
Provides a three month studio residency at The Barn in Stirling, allowing the freedom and peace of mind to develop work in a dedicated studio space. Valued at $5,000.

The Raffen Award
An acquisitive award, the chosen work becomes part of a significant private collection. $3,500 cash.

The Rob Lyons Award | New in 2017
Presented to an artist who deserves further recognition for their work. $3,000 cash.

The Bluethumb Award | New in 2017
Provides an artist profile on the Bluethumb website, plus in-kind support including an interview, photo shoot and 12 months of mentoring. Valued at $2500, including a $1000 cash prize.

The David Hayden Professional Development Award
Awarded for the purpose of purchasing materials to assist in furthering the winning artist’s practice. $1,000 cash.

The Peter Walker / Helpmann Encouragement Award
Awarded to an artist who deserves particular encouragement to continue their practice. $,1000 cash.

The SALA Award
Provides premium registration for the 2017 SALA Festival. Awarded to an artist who will benefit from exhibiting their work at SALA. Valued at $1,000, including a $530 cash prize.

The Watson Peoples’ Choice Award
Voted by the visitors to Graduate Exhibition. Supported by The Watson. $500 cash.

The Royal South Australian Society of Arts (RSASA) Backers Prize
Presented to an artist chosen by partner institution representatives including security staff, art suppliers and facility managers, each of whom have supported the artists behind the scenes during their studies. $500 cash.


Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Award
Valued at $5,000, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Award is available to a top graduate nominated by one of the Helpmann Academy’s partner schools and presented at the Helpmann Academy’s end of year event.