SALA Awards & Opportunities

Each year, we recognise South Australian artists, curators, and the venues that support them, in the SALA Awards. 
Most awards are open exclusively to registered SALA Festival participants, but check out each award listing for details and eligibility criteria.

To see recent award announcements, head to Finalists & Winners, or check out our archive of winners from past years

Country Arts SA Breaking Ground Award

For contemporary visual artists from regional South Australia, supporting them to ‘break new ground’ with a mentorship and support to develop a new body of work for exhibition in a major gallery space in metropolitan Adelaide in the 2023 SALA Festival.

Prize: $10,000 to develop a body of work for solo exhibition + $5,000 mentorship opportunity.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To apply for Breaking Ground please complete the online application form via the Country Arts SA website before midnight, 18 May 2022.

 

Country Arts SA welcomes and supports diversity and accessibility. If you would like to explore an alternative to a written application, please contact Lauren Mustillo.

Lauren Mustillo
Visual Arts Manager, Country Arts SA
2 McLaren Parade, Port Adelaide SA 5015
[email protected]
0428 106 160
(08) 8444 0416

  • The applicant is not required to be a registered participant in the 2022 SALA Festival.
  • The applicant MUST be a permanent resident of regional South Australia as currently defined under the South Australian Country Arts Trust Act (1992).
    For more information visit the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), select the ‘Modified Monash Model 2019’ tick box and search your address.
  • Artists at all stages of their career working in any medium are encouraged to apply.
  • 1 March – nominations open
  • 18 May – nominations close at midnight
  • TBC – winner announced
  • 2023 – winner presents exhibition of new work in SALA Festival (August)
  • A completed application form responding the application questions
  • Proof of residency
  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • Up to 10 digital images of recent works of art (images should be clearly labelled, be no more than five years old and provided in jpeg or tiff format with a resolution of at least 300 dpi)
  • Images must be accompanied by a ‘list of works’ which clearly specifies the artist’s name, titles of the works, dates of completion, size, medium
  • A support letter from your mentor
  • A curriculum vitae from your mentor
  • Contact details for two professional referees


Preview the application form.
Please note, additional images and support materials will not be accepted or considered as part of your application.

For more information including selection criteria, tips for making the most of your application and a handy checklist, head to the Country Arts SA website.

or check out the 4-page PDF about the 2023 Breaking Ground Award

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 whose work explores and/or celebrates the experience of the City.

Prize: $7,000 + winner required to participate in one public program at the City Library before SALA Festival 2023, sharing with the community their creative practice and how it has evolved as a result of the award.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022 

Nominations for this award can be made via the SALA Online Portal.

 The nomination form will require:

  • Up to 4 images of  your artwork (max size 10MB)
    and/or a link to your artwork (if in digital or moving image format)
  • CV (max size 10MB)
  • Brief statement that explains your work’s connection to the City and proposing how you intend to use the award to develop, extend and amplify your practice (max 200wds).

 

You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your award nomination. If you do not receive one, please get in touch with SALA Festival to ensure that your award nomination submitted correctly.

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced
  • 2023 – winner gives artist talk 

Finalists will be determined by a panel of judges based on the award nomination forms submitted and announced in July 2022. The winner will be determined during the Festival and announced at the conclusion of SALA 2022.

Terms & Conditions

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.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To enter log in to the SALA Online Portal.

The award nomination form will ask for

  • a brief statement about your work (max 100 words)
  • a link to your digital work (or preview of)


You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your award nomination. If you do not receive one, please get in touch with SALA Festival to ensure that your award nomination submitted correctly.

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival with work that is considered ‘digital media’ may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced

Judging: Finalists will be determined (and announced) prior to the Festival based on the work supplied in the nomination form. Judging of the finalist artwork will take place during SALA 2022 and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the SALA 2022.

Term & Conditions

The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award

For the most outstanding work in any medium in SALA Festival 2022.

Prize: $5,000
Nominations open:  1 March – 18 May 2022

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal.

Nominate one artwork that will be exhibited in SALA Festival 2022 that has been created since August 2021. Provide at least 1 image of this work (option to upload a second image for alternative view or closeup) and a statement about the work.

The form will ask for:

  • Artist (nominee) details
    • Registration ID number of the exhibition that the nominated artwork will feature in.
    • Contact details
    • Artist website or Instagram account (optional)
  • A statement about the artwork (max 100 words)
  • Image of the artwork (1-2 images, max 10mb each)
    • Artwork title
    • Medium
    • Year
    • Dimensions

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced

Judging: 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 2022 SALA Festival. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

Terms & Conditions

City Rural Emerging Artist Award

For artists in the early stages of their career with under five years’ professional experience.

Prize: $2,500 cash.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal.

Here you will be asked to provide:

  • Up 1-2 images of your work to be exhibited. These can be 2 separate works or alternative views of the one artwork (eg, full length + closeup). They must be exhibited in SALA Festival 2022 for judging purposes and need to have been completed/resolved since August 2021.
  • A statement about your work and background as an artist. (max 100 words)
  • Explain where you plan to take your art practice in the next 5 years (max 100 words)
  • Artist biography (max 100 words)


You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your award nomination. If you do not receive one, please get in touch with SALA Festival to ensure that your award nomination submitted correctly.

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival and consider themselves to be ’emerging’ artists may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced

Judging: Finalists will be determined from the nomination forms and announced in July. Judging of finalist artworks will take place during the 2022 SALA Festival and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

Terms & Conditions

 

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: $2,000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2023.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To enter, you will need to log in to the SALA Online Portal, or make a free account. 

Once you are logged in, you should look for the City of Unley Active Ageing Award and create a new nomination form.

The nomination form will ask you to upload:

  • 1-2 images of a single artwork
  • a statement about your work (maximum 100 words)

Ensure that you ‘submit’ this form before the deadline. If you do not receive a confirmation email after submission, please contact SALA Festival (phone: 7077 0011 / email: [email protected])

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival and are aged 60 years or over on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced

Judging: Finalists will be chosen based on the images uploaded and will be announced in July. Judging of the award will take place during the 2022 SALA Festival and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Festival.

Terms & Conditions

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 2023.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To apply for this award, curators are asked to complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal.
Here you will be asked to submit the following:

  • information about your 2022 SALA exhibition
    • artists’ names
    • choice of venue
    • disciplines
    • images of the contributing artists’ work
    • an exhibition rationale including installation description (max 250 wds)
  • a general overview of your curatorial practice (max 100 wds).


You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your award nomination. If you do not receive one, please get in touch with SALA Festival to ensure that your award nomination submitted correctly.

Persons who are curating an exhibition that is registered in the 2022 SALA Festival may nominate for this award. Applicants must be available to curate an exhibition the following year.

  • 1 March – Award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – Award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judging occurs during the Festival
  • September – winner announced
  • 2023 – winner curates exhibition at Sauerbier House for SALA 2023 (August)

For more information about Sauerbier House

More information about this opportunity

Terms & Conditions of this award.

Hither & Yon Venue Award

For a venue including online, who has exceeded expectations in supporting artists exhibiting during SALA Festival 2022. This can be in areas such as installation support, promotion of the artist, community engagement, visitor experience, and more. Check back later for more information about this award.

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: $1,000 cash.
Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To enter, complete an award nomination form via the SALA Online Portal.

The nomination form requires you to provide:

  • at least 1 image of one of your artworks, with the option to provide a second image of the same artwork (perhaps a closeup or alternative view)
  • a brief artist biography (max 100 words)
  • a written outline of how your work relates to the themes of the Don Dunstan Foundation (max 100 words)

To help you prepare to nominate, see the preview of the award form.

Artists who are registered in the 2022 SALA Festival may nominate for this award.

  • 1 March – award opens for nominations
  • 11 May – SALA registrations close
  • 18 May – award nominations close
  • Late July – finalists announced
  • August – judges visit finalist exhibitions
  • September – winner announced

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.
Winners will be announced in September 2022.

Nominations for the School Awards will be accepted via the SALA Online Portal between 1 Aug – 4 Sep 2022.

SALA Solo Photographic Opportunity

For an artist exhibiting photographic work in SALA Festival 2022, to support them in presenting a solo photographic exhibition of new work in the following year (SALA Festival 2023).

Prize: a supported solo exhibition in SALA 2023

  • Printing of artwork at Atkins Lab & consulting with Paul Atkins (valued at $5,500)
  • Mentorship from Gavin Blake (Director of the Centre for Creative Photography) (valued at $3,500)
  • Exhibition space at praxis ARTSPACE for SALA Festival 2023 (August 2023) & curatorial assistance from Patty Chehade (valued at $3,500)
  • Premium registration in SALA Festival 2023 (valued at $540)

Nominations open: 1 March – 18 May 2022

To apply for this opportunity artists are asked to complete a nomination form via the SALA Online Portal.

Artists who are presenting photographic work as part of an exhibition registered in the 2022 SALA Festival may nominate for this opportunity. Nominees must be willing and able to exhibit new work in August 2023.

  • 1 March – nominations open
  • 11 May – Festival registrations close
  • 18 May – nominations close
  • September – winner announced
  • September onwards – winner utilises mentorship and resources as part of prize to develop body of work for exhibition
  • Aug 2023 – winner’s solo exhibition as part of SALA Festival.

Click through to our Opportunities page for FAQs and more information, including a preview of the application form and Terms & Conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most awards open Tuesday, 1 March 2022 and  close Wednesday, 18 May 2022. Check each award listing for the specific dates.

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, support worker, 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).

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.

Tips for Applicants

An artist biography can be described as a resume in paragraph form. It details things like relevant study and your top achievements. These are usually written in third-person (eg. “The artist was born in Adelaide”) but will be accepted in first-person (eg. “I was born in Adelaide”) unless stipulated otherwise.

Things you can include:

  • relevant study, degrees, qualifications, or noting if the artist is self-taught
  • achievements, awards (won or shortlisted for), mentorships (formal or informal), residencies, studios or collectives you may be part of 
  • if you do not have much experience, you may supplement the above with:
    • your influences (other artists)
    • what motivates or inspires your work (persons, events, experiences, politics). Usually an artist’s inspiration is saved for an artist statement, but if a statement is not also requested, it is acceptable to include this information in the artist biography (word-count permitting).

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.

There are free online tools that you can use to reduce the size of your jpg file (like this one).

If you are using a program such as Photoshop (or equivalent) there is often a Save for Web option that use can use to reduce the file size.

Most of our award forms have a limit of 10MB (10000kb) per image file.

Jpeg (.jpg) is the most common image format. We recommend that you use this filetype when submitting for the awards (unless asked otherwise) as it will be more likely to save at a reasonable size that our system can handle.

PNG (.png) is a high quality image format but can be higher than is necessary for images that are only going to be viewed on a screen.

TIFF (.tif) is a filetype that will not be accepted by our system. This filetype is meant for files that you are not finished working on, and holds on to all possible data in case you need it in the editing process (meaning that the file is quite big). Try exporting a jpeg from your TIFF file and save them as two separate things.

Please check out our resource dedicated to photographing your work.

You might also consider contracting a photographer to take high quality images of your work.

Banner image: Opening of Ngatchu Yarta – my Country by Juanella McKenzie at Light Square Gallery, 2021: an outcome of the Country Arts SA 2021 Breaking Ground award. Image: Sia Duff, courtesy Country Arts SA.