SALA Awards

Each year SALA has a number of awards available to artists, venues and curators participating in the Festival. For previous years award winners, please see the Past Awards page. For frequently asked questions and current awards see below. 

Please note awards for 2021 are yet to be released. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Current Awards

Hither & Yon Venue Award

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

The Country Arts Breaking Ground Award

The Country Arts SA Breaking Ground Award provides a practicing contemporary visual artist residing in regional South Australia with the opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their professional experience. Artists are encouraged to be ambitious, dream big and extend themselves to ‘break new ground’ in their practice.

The winner will receive $10,000 to develop a body of work for a solo exhibition to be held at a venue in the Adelaide CBD in conjunction with the SALA Festival the following year. An additional $5,000 mentorship opportunity is provided as part of the prize to assist the recipient to achieve their professional goals.

Winner:

Juanella McKenzie 

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

Unitcare Services Digital Media Award

To recognise the unprecedented times the world faces in 2020 and the new future we are creating. 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 consists of $5,000 cash.

Winner:
Tom Borgas
Hyperobject (Speculative Works)

Finalists:

Project Light
10 Barossa Digital Artists Projection Trail 

Kasia Tons
Daffodil

Monte Masi
Project 7 The Video Show 

Tom Borgas
Hyperobject (Speculative Works)

The City Rural Emerging Artist Award

For artists in the early stages of their career with under five years professional experience.
Prize consists of $2500 cash.

Winner:
Amber Cronin
On Being an Artist: 11 Actions 

Finalists:

Jonathan Kim
Inner via Outer

Craig Glasson
Line becomes…

Jane Skeer
Open Studio

Amber Cronin
On Being an Artist: 11 Actions 

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 2021.

Winner: 
John Freeman
The Inner Journey

Finalists:

Stephen Hudson 
Once Upon A Time 

Salvador Loreto
2020 THE YEAR THAT WAS

John Freeman
The Inner Journey

The 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); the purpose economy (i.e. economic equality); Aboriginal economic empowerment and reconciliation; human rights; or Don Dunstan. Prize is $1,000 cash.

Winner:
Makeda Duong
Mixed Race Female

Finalists:

Brad Darkson
Hold Me 

Makeda Duong
Mixed Race Female

Carolyn Corletto
Open Studio

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

Credit Union SA School Awards

The Credit Union SA School Awards were established in 2018, aiming to encourage South Australian schools to participate in SALA during August. Primary and secondary schools registered for SALA 2020 will be automatically entered into the awards. Credit Union SA will present a prize of $2,500 per winning school and an additional $1,000 award for commended schools. The awards will be judged during SALA and the winners will be announced in September 2020.

Award closing date: None, all registered schools will be automatically entered. 

Winners:
Adelaide High School – Adelaide High School SALA Exhibition 2020
Faith Lutheran College – Feels to Frames – Faith Lutheran College Year 6 Artists
St John’s Grammar School – Ã  la carte
Wirreanda Secondary School – Classic Blue

Commendations:
Nuriootpa High School – Nuriootpa High School Senior SALA Exhibition
Walkerville Primary School – Walk the Terrace with Walkerville Primary School