A unique opportunity to vote online for the big Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards’ People’s Choice Prize is on offer until January 4.

All the works by 16 artists selected for the first WA Indigenous Art Awards exhibition can now be viewed on the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s website, and people can choose the winner of the $5,000 People’s Choice award with just the click of a mouse.

Earlier it was announced that the main award of $50,000 would be go to Patrick Tjungurrayi for a group of paintings that build upon the traditions of the classical Papunya style of geometric designs from the Central and Western Deserts.

June Walkutjukurr Richards from Warburton won the $10,000 award for a Western Australian artist for a group of ‘urban’ paintings from the desert.

The public now have the opportunity to show if they agree with the experts’ choices. The results are highly anticipated as they will both celebrate an artist’s achievements and uncover the tastes of Gallery and website visitors. Never have the latter been offered such a chance before.

One reason for doing it, according to Dr Stefano Carboni, Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia is to open up the new Awards exhibition to people in remote and regional communities. It’s also possible that the Gallery needs to impress the new conservative government in WA with the popularity of the Labor-initiated Awards.

Voting in the People’s Choice Award closes at 5pm (WDT) on 4 January, and the winning artist will be announced two days later on 6 January.

Images and information on each featured artist’s work, as well as a link to the online voting
form, can be found at: http://www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/exhibitions/PeoplesChoiceAward.asp