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The Continental Hotel Sorrento is again excited as it gathers momentum to host the 14th annual Art Prize event in October.

A ‘forward thinking’ idea by one of the hotel’s owners Rick Di Pietro, in collaboration with local artist John Baird, decided to add interest to the hotel’s spectacular wall space and display art work to help promote and support the talent of local artists. This inspirational idea appealed to many and a small Art Competition involving approximately 30 local artists came about.

Today, after humble beginnings, large audiences including the local art community mark this special event in their diaries as a ‘must do & see’, gathering more attention each year with last year’s artist pool increasing to 130 artists Victoria wide.

This year’s main judge Gabe North is assisted by Donna Magree. First prize is $1,500 and the ‘Linda Gebar Encourage Award’ prize is $500, introduced to help inspire new, up and coming artists to continue their passion. This year a ‘one off’ special prize will be awarded for the best abstract or semi-abstract art work. The lucky winner will be presented with a signed, limited edition book from German artist Albert Oehlen generously donated by Paul Wattie from Rosebud Bookbarn.

The competition art works entered, will be displayed in the Continental Hotel leading up to the opening night on Sunday 17 November when winners will be announced. Local newspapers and photographers will be in attendance as will presenters from local radio RPP FM, to record the evening as part of their weekly Arts program ‘Arts About’.

It’s a wonderful night where artists mingle with their peers, and family and friends have the opportunity to view and discuss each others work.

The Continental Hotel has quite a reputation among local art lovers and the like. The hotel’s Restaurant Gallery Space is a unique environment and hosts three separate exhibitions every year where guests and patrons are exposed to art. Currently a ‘Mini Solo Show’ is showcasing work of 8 local artists to view and purchase. The art works provide an incredible ‘artscape’ backdrop.

Enter the Continental Hotel Annual Art Prize by dropping off your art work together with a completed entry form on Sunday 27 October between 11am – 2pm. Entry forms available late September.

For all enquiries, please contact Art Curator Stahle Spencer on 5984 2201 or email sspencerconti@gmail.com

Collated by Debra Mar

Image: Last years winning art piece titled 'Pilot's Workshop Queenscliff' by Bridgit Thomas