SALA Awards & Opportunities
Each year SALA has a number of awards available to artists, venues, and curators participating in the Festival. Scroll down to see the list of SALA Awards for 2021. To see the award winners from previous years, please see the Past Awards page. Awards and opportunities for 2022 will be published here soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Awards open Tuesday, 1 March 2022 and most awards close Wednesday, 18 May 2022.
Once you have registered an exhibition or event in SALA 2022, head to the SALA Online Portal to submit an award nomination form.
Artists, curators and venues that are participating in a registered SALA exhibition/event are encouraged to self-nominate for the SALA Awards. Each award has different criteria and some result in an opportunity so it’s important to read up on each award before nominating.
Nominations will be accepted from someone representing the nominee (a curator, carer, or friend) who can fill out the form on their behalf. It is imperative that you check with the person before nominating them for an award that carries a resulting opportunity (eg, an exhibition the following year) to ensure that they consent to being nominated and are capable of following through with any associated opportunities.
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 2021). 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 SALA Awards
City of Adelaide Incubator Award
The City of Adelaide Incubator Award recognises an artist whose work explores and/or celebrates the experience of the City. The award welcomes work that reflects Adelaide’s Dynamic City Culture, a city that celebrates diverse community, culture, and creativity. Artwork that reveals Adelaide as a must visit destination, renowned for its playful, thought provoking, and world class art experiences will be preferred.
This award is open to artists at any stage of their career, working in any medium.
The prize consists of $7,000 with the winner required to participate in one public program at the City Library before SALA Festival 2022, sharing with the community their creative practice and how it has evolved as a result of the award.
Unitcare Services Digital Media Award
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.
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.
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: $1000 plus a supported opportunity to curate a [GRAFTd] exhibition at Sauerbier House during SALA 2022.
Hither & Yon Venue AwardS
For venues, including online, who have exceeded expectations in supporting artists exhibiting during SALA Festival 2021. This can be in areas such as installation support, promotion of the artist, community engagement, visitor experience, and more. 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 Online Portal. Judging of the award will take place at the conclusion of SALA Festival 2021 with the two winners announced shortly after.
Bimbimbie Garden is a private garden in Coromandel East which hosted the work of artist Rosie Field during SALA Festival 2021. Rosie says “I can honestly say that my ceramic stacks would still be multiplying in my studio were it not for Louise and her support and encouragement to show my work in her garden. I had never done anything like this before, and she was so confident and encouraged me with this opportunity.” Louise and Della set about weeding, pruning, mulching, laying gravel paths, and even moving plants around to prepare the garden to host Rosie’s work.
Knowing that artists often have to be their own greatest advocates, the judges were delighted to hear about this instance of a venue recognising South Australian talent and insisting on bringing them to the attention of the wider community to be celebrated. Visitors commented on the perfect pairing of the organic forms in the garden setting, and a warm sense of community at the venue – which is echoed in other unseen gestures like opting not to take a commission from the artists’ sales.
The Garden Depot is a garden centre in Mount Barker which hosted the work of teen sculptural artist Luke Humphrys in their shop. Luke first approached the team at the Garden Depot with a PowerPoint presentation explaining his school project, Rust Reloaded, which he wanted to turn into an exhibition for SALA Festival 2021. He was met with an enthusiasm that sustained all the way through to the end of his exhibition. Patrick of The Garden Depot briefed all staff about the Rust Reloaded project, who then shared his story with customers – encouraging them to leave their feedback (and artwork orders) in the visitor book, and even encouraging them to bring in their own rusted objects to pass on to Luke for future projects.
The judges were particularly pleased to hear of the pride that the team took in this artist’s journey. From the prominent placement of Luke’s work, to the plants provided from the nursery to enhance the work and really integrate it into the space, to the invitation extended to Luke to stock his work there on a regular basis; it is wonderful to see local artists being wholly celebrated and a young person’s creativity bolstered and encouraged.
Credit Union SA School Awards
To support and celebrate visual art in schools, Credit Union SA will be awarding cash prizes for outstanding SALA Festival school exhibitions.
The winning schools will receive a $2,500 prize and ‘runner-up’ schools will receive a $1,000 prize.
The awards will be judged during SALA Festival and the winners will be announced in September 2021.
Best of all, schools registered for SALA Festival 2021 are automatically entered in this award – so there’s no extra paperwork to do!
Award closed (19 May 2021).
WINNERS (& judges’ comments):
Christies Beach Primary School
Coastal Connections not only gave primacy to students’ learning and rationale behind their work, but was presented in an engaging installation in the school library that cohesively tied all of the work together.
Littlehampton Primary School
Touched by Nature featured an incredible range of media in a thoughtful installation in the Littlehampton Peace Memorial Hall. A fantastic SALA debut.
Nuriootpa High School
Hidden Creatures of the Barossa brought highly-considered sculptural works (creatures) to a number of shopfronts in the Barossa. A great way to bring student work to the community in an engaging way.
St Aloysius College
Signs of the Times utilised a small space to present big themes by using the format of the postcard as a way for students to be heard on current issues. An impressive emphasis on student voice and tackling big ideas.
COMMENDATIONS (& judges’ comments):
Diverse and United presented an engaging online exhibition of very polished and authentically diverse work.
Riverland Special School
Tales of Textiles proved how creativity can be bolstered by a restraint – focusing on the medium of textiles encouraged a myriad of creative ideas. The domestic object installations with textile intervention were a particular highlight.