SALA Awards

Each year SALA has a number of awards available to artists, venues and curators participating in the Festival. To see the award winners from previous years, please see the Past Awards page. 

Please note that the awards for 2021 are yet to be announced. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Awards open Monday, 1 March 2021 and most awards close Wednesday, 19 May 2021. 

Artists, curators and venues that are participating in a registered SALA exhibition/event are encouraged to self-nominate for the SALA Awards. Nominations will also be accepted from someone representing the nominee (a curator, carer, or friend) who can fill out the form on their behalf. In either case, an Awards nomination form will need to be submitted via the SALA Online Portal.

For most of the SALA Awards, the first round of judging is based on the nomination form and yields a selection of finalists. All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application via the email address provided in the form.

The next round of judging is based on real-life visits to finalists’ exhibitions where possible. Judges will visit the exhibition that corresponds to the registration ID number provided in the nomination form, so it is important that nominees in multiple exhibitions pay careful attention to which registration ID they provide.

Most award winners are announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

The registration ID number that you provide in the award nomination form will determine which exhibition the judges will visit if you are a finalist. Please provide the registration ID number that corresponds with the exhibition containing the artwork referred to in your award nomination form.

Unless specified otherwise, the images that you upload into the award nomination form should be of one artwork. One image should be of the whole artwork, and any other images can show close-up details, texture, or alternative angles of the work.

Yes, the artwork in your award nomination form should be the artwork on display at your exhibition, or as near as possible for work that is incomplete at the time of application.

The artwork that you submit in the award nomination form should be made since the last SALA Festival (August 2020). If your exhibition contains a mix of old and new work, only the new work can be submitted in the awards.

Most of the SALA Awards aim to recognise excellence in an individual artwork.
If an artwork is created by two or more artists working in collaboration, that artwork is eligible for the SALA Awards. However, a group of artists creating individual works for a group exhibition will need to nominate their works individually for the SALA Awards.


Curators of group exhibitions are encouraged to nominate for the City of Onkaparinga Contemporary Curator Award (as are curators of solo exhibitions).

An artist statement is about your art and the current themes, concepts and materials present in the work. It may be written in first or third person.

An artist biography can be described as a resume in paragraph form. It details things like relevant study and your top achievements.

Judging visits are not disclosed to nominees, so it is imperative that any changes to exhibition opening times are communicated with the SALA team via phone or email as soon as you become aware of them. Judging cannot be guaranteed when details of the registration change.

2021 Awards

Unitcare Services Digital Media Award

This award seeks to encourage experimentation in new media and is for artists working in digital art including computer, moving image, virtual, interactive, sound, and internet platforms.

Prize: $5,000 cash.

To enter, upload a brief artist statement and a link to your digital work via the SALA Online Portal. Finalists will be determined prior to the Festival based on the work supplied in the nomination form. Judging of the finalist artwork will take place during SALA 2021 and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the SALA 2021.

City Rural Emerging Artist Award

For artists in the early stages of their career with under five years’ professional experience.
Prize consists of $2,500 cash.

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal. Upload up to 2 images of a single artwork and provide a statement about your work and background as an artist. Finalists will be determined from the nomination forms and announced in July. Judging of finalist artworks will take place during the 2021 SALA Festival and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival. 

City of Unley Active Ageing award

For artists 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. Prize consists of $2,000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2022.

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal, providing 2 images of a single artwork and a statement about your work. Finalists will be chosen based on the images uploaded and will be announced in July. Judging of the award will take place during the 2021 SALA Festival and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

Don Dunstan Foundation Award

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); economic equality and justice; Aboriginal economic empowerment and reconciliation; human rights; or Don Dunstan himself. 

Prize is $1,000 cash.

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal. Upload 2 images of one of your artworks, a brief artist biography and outline how your work relates to the themes of the Don Dunstan Foundation. Finalists will be determined prior to the Festival by panel of judges based on the award nomination forms. The finalists will be announced in July. Judging of the award will take place during the 2021 SALA Festival and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

Credit Union SA School Awards

This award aims to encourage South Australian schools to participate in the annual SALA Festival in August. 

Established in 2018, Credit Union SA will present cash prizes for school student exhibitions presented in the 2021 Festival. A prize of $2,500 will be awarded to winning schools, with an additional $1,000 award for commendations. Schools registered for SALA Festival 2021 are automatically entered in this award. 

The awards will be judged during SALA Festival and the winners will be announced in September 2021.

2020 Awards

Hither & Yon Venue AwardS

For venues, including online, who have exceeded expectations in supporting artists exhibiting during SALA Festival 2020.

Two winners will receive a prize consisting of $1,000 each.

To enter, nominees must upload statements and supporting images explaining how their venue has gone above and beyond this SALA Festival in supporting their exhibiting artists. Entries will be taken via the SALA registration portal. Judging of the award will take place at the conclusion of SALA Festival 2020 with the two winners announced shortly after. 

Winners:
Collective Haunt Inc.
She Is Pop-up Gallery

City of Adelaide Incubator Award

City of Adelaide supports a Dynamic City Culture that celebrates our diverse community, culture and creativity. A thriving creative cultural city is considered an essential driver of social, environmental and economic development.

The Cultural Strategy 2017-23 highlights Adelaide’s recognition as a Cultural Incubator where people, enterprises and audience flourish. The Public Art Action Plan 2019-22 envisages Adelaide as a world leading city of art that tells the story of the past and connects the future, reflecting the growth and evolution of the City. The Council supports the exchange of ideas and talent and the development of public art practice.

The City of Adelaide Incubator Award will enable artists to develop their art practice and to thrive. This award is provided to an artist at any stage of their career, working in any medium, whose work explores the experience of the City.

The prize consists of $7,000 and the winner will be required to participate in one public program at the City Library before SALA Festival 2021, to share with the community what their creative practice is and how it has evolved as a result of the award.

Winner: 

Alycia Bennett
SA LA LA Land

Finalists:

Carolyn Corletto
Open Studio

Kelly Reynolds & Sasha Grbich 
Last Nights in Cities

Alycia Bennett
SA LA LA Land

Kurt Bosecke
SA LA LA Land

City of Onkaparinga Contemporary Curator Award

For contemporary curators to foster and support curatorial practice within the City of Onkaparinga. The award is open to emergent or established curators.  Prize: consists of $1000 plus a supported opportunity to curate a [GRAFTd] exhibition at Sauerbier House during SALA 2021.

Winner:
Suzanne Close 
The Uncertainty of Knowing 

Finalists:

Gabi Lane & eDuard Helmbold 
On Being an Artist: 11 Actions 

Suzanne Close 
The Uncertainty of Knowing 

Andy Petrusevics
Project 7 The Video Show