2019 award winners announced as SALA Festival finishes in party mode

Image: SALA Finissage Party and Awards Night, 2019, photo Jack Fenby

As the 2019 SALA Festival closes for another year the award winners have been announced on the last night at the Finissage Party closing event, with both emerging and established artists sharing the honours.

Celebrating its 22nd year SALA Festival had over 8000 artists participating in almost 700 exhibitions across Adelaide and South Australia throughout August.

Artists Derek Sargent & Jess Miley were awarded the Advertiser Contemporary Art Award, with a cash prize of $5,000 for their collaboration on The Grave Project. This award is for the most outstanding work in any medium for 2019. Derek and Jess’s collaboration saw them research individuals who have had an impact on non-normative popular and/or queer culture. This research is a base for a performance that involves a pilgrimage to their burial site, which is documented by photography and film.

The Unitcare Services Moving Image Award is for artists working in moving image / new media with a cash prize of $5,000, this was won by Grant Parke for his exhibition Every Person On The B10 Bus, a selection of drawings and moving image from a three year project anonymously documenting people on their daily commute.

Emerging artist Steven Bellosguardo received The City Rural Emerging Artist Award, an award for artists in the early stages of their career with a cash prize of $2,500.

The Don Dunstan Foundation Award is for artists whose work explores social justice themes which align with the objectives and priorities of the Don Dunstan Foundation. Artists Deborah Baldassi and Sue Webb won the cash prize of $2,500 for Safe Harbour: the Power of a Thousand Boats, a community art installation curated by Deborah and Sue consisting of a large boat and a colourful, swirling flotilla of more than a thousand small painted boats. An initiative designed to bring the plight of refugees and asylum seekers detained indefinitely offshore to the public’s attention.

The City of Unley Active Aging Award went to Maggie Ceccin for her work as part of the Mindful exhibition at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, an exhibition celebrating the healing, meditative and uplifting potential art provides both artist and viewer. Maggie won a cash prize of $2,000 and an exhibition space in Unley for next year’s SALA Festival.

See full list of award winners below.

SALA Festival CEO Kate Moskwa said “This year we had over 300 entries into the SALA Awards and the quality of submissions was very high. Our awards recognise artists working across different media, subject matter, age, and level of experience and this year for the first time we have a category which supports contemporary curating. The judges visited exhibitions statewide to select the winners and congratulate all the artists and curators who have participated this year.

“The 2019 SALA Festival has been a fabulous success thanks to audiences, venues and the artists of South Australia. Some exhibitions continue into September so check the SALA app to see what’s still open.”

Celebrated artist Kirsten Coelho was this year named SALA Festival featured artist for 2020. Kirsten Coelho works in porcelain, producing reduction fired works that attempt to fuse the formal and the abstract. As SALA’s featured artist, Kirsten’s work will be on the cover of the 2020 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival program and poster, and she will be commemorated in the official 2020 South Australian Living Artists Publication, funded by Arts South Australia, to be published by Wakefield Press and penned by South Australian writer Wendy Walker.

South Australian Film Corporation also announced the recipient of the second Adelaide Studios Artist Residency, Adelaide Hills born multidisciplinary artist Madison Bycroft, who will develop and produce art of the moving image on site at the South Australian Film Corporation’s creative screen hub. Madison will discuss her Artist Residency and practice at an In Conversation event at Adelaide Studios during SALA 2020 and will exhibit her work in a world premiere screening season at the Samstag Museum of Art, UniSA during the 2021 SALA Festival.


  • The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award

Prize: $5,000 cash – for the most outstanding contemporary work in any medium

FINALISTS – Thom Buchanan, Mirjana Dobson, James Dodd, Honor Freeman, Joseph Haxan, Anna

Horne, Olivia Kathigitis, Kate Kurucz, Yoko Lowe, Monika Morgenstern, Jane Skeer, Drew

Spangenberg, Amy Joy Watson

WINNER Derek Sargent & Jess Miley

  • Unitcare Services Moving Image Award

Prize: $5,000 cash – for artists working in moving image / new media

FINALISTS – Ray Harris, Angelique Joy, Jess Taylor

WINNER Grant Parke

  • The City Rural Emerging Artist Award

Prize: $2,500 cash – for artists in the early stages of their career, with under five years professional


FINALISTS – Craig Glasson, Sam Gold, Joseph Haxan

WINNER – Steven Bellosguardo

  • Don Dunstan Foundation Award

Prize: $2,500 cash – for artists whose work explores social justice themes which align with the objectives and priorities of the Don Dunstan Foundation including homelessness; mental health; migration (including cultural and ethnic diversity); the purpose economy (ie economic equality); Aboriginal economic empowerment and reconciliation; human rights; or Don Dunstan

FINALISTS – Sally Findlay, Nate Hutton, Daniel Connell

WINNER – Deborah Baldassi and Sue Webb

  • The City of Unley Active Ageing Award

Prize: $2000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2020 – for an artist over the age of 60

to celebrate the City of Unley’s involvement with SALA and its commitment to promoting and

supporting an active ageing approach

FINALISTS – Nicole Gilding, Ursula Kiessling

WINNER Maggie Ceccin

  • Atkins Photo Lab Award

Prize: An edition of three A1 Giclee Archival Fine Art Prints – for artists working with photo-based

artwork including but not limited to, manipulated photography (digital or otherwise)

FINALISTS – Melissa Little, Fin Rice

WINNER Lee Walter

  • Centre for Creative Photography Latent Image Award

Prize: Up to $825 worth in-kind assistance. This could include studio / darkroom hire, workshops,

an accredited course or mentorship

FINALISTS – John Staines, Simone Stewart

WINNER Joseph Haxan

  • 4th Biennial RSASA / SALA Portrait Prize Exhibition

Prize: $10,000 – aims to contribute to the development of portraiture across South Australia

WINNER Kate Kurucz

  • City of Onkaparinga Contemporary Curator Award

Prize: $1,000 plus a supported opportunity to curate [GRAFTd] exhibition at Sauerbier House

during SALA 2020 – for contemporary curators to foster and support curatorial practice within the

City of Onkaparinga, the award is open to emerging or established curators

FINALISTS – Fruzsina Kenez, Katarina Klaric

WINNER Steph Cibich

While SALA is officially finished today (August 31) several exhibitions will continue into September, more information about all SALA exhibitions and events can be found online at www.salafestival.com  or by calling 7077 0011.

MEDIA ENQURIES: Contact Publicist Petrina Egan on 0423 324 288 or email at petrinaegan@outlook.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SALAFestival

Twitter & Instagram: @SALAFestival Official hashtag: #SALAFestival