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Presented by Midsumma Festival and Australia Post

Australia's leading queer art award - experience the virtual tour

Since its inauguration in 2016 the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize has quickly established itself as an important award in the ecology of the arts. With finalists selected from across the country, the non-acquisitive annual award is a survey of outstanding queer artists working across mediums reflecting their potent personal and political perspectives on the world.

Take a virtual tour of the 2018 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize.

For the 2018 exhibition, the main award of $5000 went to Tama tk Sharman for their outstanding installation "oh my how things change rua/II_(phalloplasty for poor cunts)" with the supplementary awards going to Lesley Turnbull for her stunning photographic series "S k i n s" ($1000 Star Observer Prize) and Xanthe Dobbie for her digital work "21st Century Greatest Hits Screensaver Pack" ($1000 People's Choice). Judges of the major art prize included curator Kelly Gellatly (Director, The Ian Potter Museum of Art), independent artist and writer Abbra Kotlarczyk (Art+Australia, un magazine, Das Platforms) and Andrew Walduck (Australia Post Executive General Manager for Trusted eCommerce Services).

Midsumma Festival is delighted to present this event as part of our ongoing partnership with Australia Post. Celebrating diversity and inclusion is important to Australia Post. They are committed to supporting their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer employees and driving positive change to create more inclusiveness not just throughout their workforce but throughout the wider community.

Interested in applying for the 2019 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize? Applications open soon with finalists exhibited during Midsumma Festival 2019. Subscribe to our eNews to find out more information as it arises, and read on to learn about submitting for the award.

Image: In Stride by Mark Payne, 2017 award finalist.

Key Dates

Submissions open: September 2018
Submissions close: October 2018
Finalists notified and announced: October 2018
Midsumma Program Launch and Finalists Announced: November 2018
Install: mid-January 2019
Exhibition Opening and Awards Announced: mid-January 2019
Exhibition: mid-January to early February 2019
De-install: early February 2019

Previous Finalists

Winners of the 2018 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize

Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize: Tama tk Sharman – "oh my how things change rua/II_(phalloplasty for poor cunts)"
Star Observer Prize: Lesley Turnbull – "S k i n s"
People's Choice: Xanthe Dobbie – "21st Century Greatest Hits Screensaver Pack"

Finalists of the 2018 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize

Eureka Michael James O'Hanlon | Lesley Turnbull | Louis Fourie | Marc-O-Matic | Mark du Potiers | Meg Wilson | Peter Shepherd | Sam Foster | Sha Gaze | Sylvia Hollis | Tama tk Sharman | Xanthe Dobbie

Winners of the 2017 Midsumma Australia Art Prize

Australia Post Art Prize: J. Rosenbaum
Midsumma Art Prize, donated by Martin Foley MP, Member for Albert Park, Minister for Equality: Rafaella McDonald
Star Observer Prize: Natalie Jeantou
People's Choice Prize: Dalton Stewart

Finalists of the 2017 Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize

John Brooks | Rochelle Duke | Lauren Dunn | Léuli Eshraghi | Emma Ferguson | Goldie | Brent Harrison | Justin Hinder | Selwyn Hoffmann | Natalie Jeantou | Jessica Johnson | Natasha Madden | Rafaella McDonald | Jimmy Nuttall | Rachel Jessie-Rae O'Connor | Mark Payne | J. Rosenbaum | Dalton Stewart

Finalists of the inaugural 2016 Australia Post Art Prize

Adam James David Anderson | Megan Beckwith | Alison Bennett | Daniel Burke | William Eicholtz | Emma Ferguson | Ying Huang | Jessica K | Matto Luca | Jake Preval | Frances Sergi | Issie Soudy

Conditions of Entry


The Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize recognises outstanding queer artists who are Australian residents, and:

  1. are submitting work created in the last two years.
  2. are submitting original artwork for which they hold the copyright.
  3. are submitting work not previously exhibited as part of this Art Prize.
  4. were not a Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize winner in 2017.
  5. are not employees (and the immediate families of employees) of selection committee members, judges or Midsumma Festival and Australia Post staff directly associated with the competition.
  6. are not relatives of staff on the selection committee or judges.

Works of all mediums and scale will be considered and artists can submit as many artworks into the competition as they like.


Essential Information:

All finalists will be required to:

  1. exhibit their submitted artwork during Midsumma Festival 2018 at No Vacancy Gallery, QV, 30 – 40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne. See Key Dates.
  2. install and de-install their artwork as per the Key Dates.
  3. cover any costs associated with the display of their work (eg. hanging hooks, technical equipment including TV monitors, projectors, speakers etc). Artists should note that Midsumma Festival has limited access to TV monitors and projectors, and that we cannot guarantee that these will be provided.
  4. pack works and arrange freight to and from the exhibition, if necessary.
  5. consent to Midsumma Festival and Australia Post publishing the artwork (including photographs) to publicise this competition in connection with the Midsumma Festival or for the purposes of promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion.

For the purposes of insurance, once artworks are brought into the gallery (No Vacancy), the gallery temporarily takes ownership of the works to ensure it is covered under their contents insurance. Artwork is not insured during transport to and from the exhibition.

Download the full Terms and Conditions


Selection and Judging Process

Finalist Selection

Finalists will be selected by Midsumma’s artistic team (including Program Manager Daniel Santangeli and CEO Karen Bryant). Finalists will be selected based on artistic merit and overall balance of art forms and artistic content.
All finalists will be notified in November 2018.

Major Prize Determination

The major prize for the 2019 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize will be awarded to the finalist whose artwork submitted into the competition is determined by the judges that most artistically and creatively reflects the artist’s personal and/or political perspective and which also exhibits a high degree of artistic merit. The winner of the major prize will receive $5,000 (cash).

People’s Choice Winner Determination

The finalists’ artworks will be made available to the public for viewing and voting during Midsumma Festival.
Finalists cannot place votes and voting must take place by ballot in person at the exhibition.
The People’s Choice prize winner will receive $1000 (cash).

Sale of Artworks

This is a non-acquisitive art prize. Artists may choose to make their work(s) available for sale through the sales system facilitated by Midsumma Festival. No commissions are taken on artworks sold and Midsumma Festival takes no responsibility for soliciting the sale of artworks.

If sold, artists are responsible for packaging their work ready for transfer of ownership at the conclusion of the exhibition. Failure to do so will incur a $50 packaging fee taken from the sale of the artwork.

Artwork that is not collected by the purchaser within 3 months of the exhibition closing will be returned to the artist. In this instance, ownership of the artwork will transfer back to the artist and the artist will retain the income from the sale (or deposit in the instance that only a deposit was made by the purchaser).



Submission Process

When applying online you will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. The artist’s name, contact details and other personal information;
  2. ABN (if applicable) and GST status;
  3. The title of the artwork submitted;
  4. The year the artwork was created;
  5. The medium and dimensions of the artwork;
  6. The sale price of the artwork (where applicable; including GST if applicable);
  7. Notes on display of the artwork;
  8. An artist statement for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
  9. The artist’s CV (maximum one page in length; provided as a weblink);
  10. A biography of the artist for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
  11. Images of the artwork - a weblink to a maximum of three (3) high resolution images. This will be used for assessing your application and may be used for promotional purposes. Please utilise a filename with the artist’s full name to allow for easy identification.
  12. Full-length version of your video or audio work if applicable, as a weblink. Please also provide any applicable passwords. This will be used for assessing your application;
  13. Headshot of the artist (jpeg format; high resolution) for inclusion on the Midsumma website.

Note: the application form doesn't work under some versions of Internet Explorer. We suggest you use an alternative browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

Make a Submission Now

Submissions for the 2019 Australia Post Art Prize will open soon. Subscribe to our eNews to find out more information as it arises.


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