The kenneth jack memorial watercolour award


After a void of 25 years it wasn’t until 2007 that the first major Watercolour Exhibition in Melbourne was held at Victorian Artists Society. The Annual Kenneth Jack Memorial Award and Watercolour Exhibition was opened by the State Governor, Professor David de Kretser and judged by Robert Wade OAM and had almost 200 works hung. The success was repeated the next year and was opened by Peter Perry, Director, Castlemaine Gallery.

In 2010 the newly formed ‘Watercolour Society of Australia’ partnered the Jack family and took up the watercolour banner and held the third Annual Kenneth Jack Memorial Award and Watercolour Exhibition at historic Montsalvat - the artists mecca of the 1950’s and 60’s. One hundred and fifty works were hung and judged by Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Director, Gordon Morrison. The award went to Julien Bruere, who joined David Taylor and Ross Paterson from the previous years to create the most prestigious Watercolour Award in Australia.

As part of 2010 exhibition The Graeme Clark Foundation instigated ‘The Graeme Clark Foundation Award’, with the criteria for judgement being “Dare to be Different”. The first winner of this prestigious Award was Kathlyn Ballard OAM.

On the opening night Professor Graeme Clark spoke about his invention of the Bionic Ear implant and his friendship with Kenneth Jack both professional and personal. The Jack family very kindly donated four of Ken’s works to be sold during this exhibition by silent auction, to successfully raise money for the Graeme Clark Foundation. The exhibition was opened by Jerry K. Ellis, a director of the Graeme Clark Foundation, past chairman of BHP and Director of ANZ Bank.

The winner of the Kenneth Jack Memorial Award, Julian Bruere, with “Snow Gums”, received a magnificent bronze plaque, which was generously donated by the Jack Family and presented by Betty Jack.

In 2011 a huge crowd of 110 people attended the Opening Night in the Barn Gallery at Montsalvat. The evening focussed on our Guest Speakers. Rob Gell was outstanding. In a long entertaining speech he linked geomorphology with art, nature and conservation.

President Glyn Clark Lewis, Watercolour Society, together with the Jack Family, congratulated the artists on the high standard of their works. Glyn stressed the need for Watercolourists to look beyond realism and impressionism towards contemporary painting if watercolour painting is to achieve it's rightful status in the World of Art.

Harold Farey, past President of the Watercolour Society paid tribute to the vast legacy of the works of the legendary Kenneth Jack. Judge of the exhibition, Jane Alexander, Director of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, entertainingly congratulated all the entrants and announced the Award winners.

David Taylor won the 2011 Kenneth Jack Memorial Award. Highly commended Artists were Jan Martin, Julie Goldspink and Olga Pasendinikova. Commended Awards went to Pat Winnett, Ron Mueller, Tony Weston, Richard Burke, Ross McIntosh, Neil Gude and Bett Collins . Julie Goldspink won the coveted ”Dare to be Different” Award of the Graeme Clark Foundation.