Issue 5
Monday, 24 April 2017
Charles Darwin University
Henry Smith with his award winning portrait of Dr Craig San Roque
Henry Smith with his award winning portrait of Dr Craig San Roque

Art teacher wins top portrait prize

By Patrick Nelson

Central Australian visual arts lecturer Henry Smith has extended CDU’s strong run of success in the Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award. 

Mr Smith won the $7000 Acquisition Award for his pensive portrait of psychologist Dr Craig San Roque in what was his fourth attempt in the Territory’s most prestigious portrait competition.

“I was a bit overwhelmed when they announced me as the winner,” said Mr Smith, who was among a gathering of 200 for the opening at Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs this month.

“There are many fine works among the 33 entries this year.”

Mr Smith said he was grateful that his subject had been so patient with him.

“I had Craig over at my studio about 10 times. It took me a good while to get his measure. You need to get the measure of a person before you can make a good portrait of them.”

Mr Smith said he was delighted that two of his Certificate IV students also had submitted entries this year.

“Apples Kemp and Matthew Grant have been coming to my classes for some time,” he said.

Apples painted an oil-on-canvas portrait of local pastoral matriarch Jan Hayes, while Matthew submitted a chalk pastel on paper portrait of businessman Wayne Kraft.

Second place this year was awarded to CDU creative arts graduate Dr Jennifer Taylor for her portrait of Eastern Arrernte woman Agnes Abbott. And Dr Al Strangeways, CDU’s education lecturer who won the Acquisition Prize in 2015, also submitted an entry.