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TAFE NSW teacher takes out prestigious art prize

TAFE NSW Hunter Street

TAFE NSW teacher takes out prestigious art prize

Self-portrait by TAFE NSW Fine Arts Teacher Michael Bell

TAFE NSW teacher Michael Bell has joined the prestigious list of accomplished artists who have taken out the Kilgour Prize.

Announced as this year’s winner of the $50,000 art prize via a live-streamed announcement at Newcastle Art Gallery last week, Michael's two self-portraits were awarded over more than 350 entries and 30 finalists from across Australia.

The TAFE NSW Art and Media, Business and Creative Industries teacher’s career has spanned over 30 years and includes being named as a finalist in exhibitions such as The Archibald Prize and The Sulman Prize, as well as designing for iconic Australian brands such as Triple J and surf label, Mambo Australia.

Michael said he is thrilled to have won the top prize and appreciates the support he has received from TAFE NSW.

“There are so many incredibly talented artists involved in this exhibition. Winning this award is a real privilege and I am very grateful.”

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said, "The City of Newcastle is honoured to be the home of the Kilgour Prize, which has firmly established itself as one of Australia's major art prizes."

"This is highlighted by the immense quality of the works and artists who have entered this year. I congratulate Michael Bell on joining the list of accomplished artists to have taken out the Kilgour Prize."

The Kilgour Prize was this year judged by Lauretta Morton, Director Newcastle Art Gallery Stephen Gilchrist, curator and Lecturer Art History, The University of Sydney and Rachel Arndt, Gallery Programs and Touring Exhibitions Manager, Museums and Galleries of NSW. The judges said they were impressed by the composition of the winning painting and details within it.

For more information about TAFE NSW art and media courses, please visit or call 131 601.



Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner,