2020 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award

The 2020 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award will proceed as planned.

Any updates on the status of the award and exhibition will be communicated through our social media channels, please follow us there.

Image - 2018 Finalist Nick Stathopoulos, Portrait of Christos Tsiolkas, 2017

The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award 2020

The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award is one of Australia’s most loved and richest prize for realistic portraiture. The $50,000 biennial award is non-acquisitive and attracts over 400 entries from many of Australia’s most respected artists.


Exhibition timeline

Closing date for entry forms: Midnight, Friday 29 May, 2020

Finalists notified: Monday 29 June, 2020

Finalist artwork delivered to the gallery on Monday July 20 from 10 am - 4 pm or prior by courier.  No late entries will be accepted

Artwork delivery address: Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Zingel Place, Bega NSW 2550, Phone: (02) 6499 2222

Official opening: Friday 24 July 2020. The opening will take place in the gallery from 6 pm

Exhibition closes: Saturday 12 September, 2020 at 4pm

Judges and selection panel will be announced in April 2020


Terms and Conditions of Entry

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About the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award

One of Australia's most loved and richest portrait awards, the biennial Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award celebrates realistic portraiture in memory of our eponymous patron.

Hannan, a gifted portraitist, was well known in the Bega Valley as a staunch supporter and generous patron of the arts, funded the John Balmain National Award for Portraits and Figure Drawing from 1993 until she re-established it in her own name in 2002 with a substantially increased first prize of $15,000.

A prerequisite for the award was made that those works selected to hang depict their subjects accurately without abstraction and demonstrate a sound skill and knowledge of drawing and painting technique. The award was established with a specific and unremitting realist bent, which continues to this day.

Before her death in 2005, Hannan doubled the prize purse to $30,000 and it was decided to discarded the figure drawing component of the prize, concentrating on portraiture alone.

Hannan's husband, Brian Settle, established the Shirley Hannan Trust to perpetuate the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award as a biennial, national portrait prize with a focus on accurate depiction.

In 2012, Hannan's son Peter, himself a talented photographer, paid further tribute to his mother's memory with a generous personal donation of an additional $20,000 bringing the prize purse for subsequent awards to $50,000.


Bega Valley Regional Gallery is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.