SALA Festival 2023 Award Winners announced

SALA-Jess-Taylor-Julia-Robinson-Hannah-Kent-and-Leigh-Robb-photo-by-Sam-RobertsAs the 26th South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival came to a close, the 2023 award winners have been announced at the Finissage closing event at the SALA Hub, Queen’s Theatre, with both emerging and established artists receiving awards in recognition of their artistic practice. This year’s SALA saw 10,915 artists participate, with 697 exhibitions in 620 registered venues across Adelaide and regional SA.

“Judging panels for this year’s SALA Awards were blessed and challenged by the depth of talent, skills and originality across the finalists in all categories,” said SALA Festival Acting CEO, Bridget Alfred.

“The diversity was breathtaking, with senior artists of 40 years’ experience and exceptional skill sitting alongside raw and emerging voices. The awards are really a snapshot of the rich field of visual artists that thrive in South Australia.

The SALA Award recipients saw several newcomers as well as established artists sharing in the accolades. Kaspar Schmidt Mumm won the City of Adelaide Incubator Award. This award is open to artists at any stage of their career, working in any medium whose work explores and/or celebrates the experience of the City.

Kaspar was awarded $7,000 and will participate in a public program with the City of Adelaide in 2024, sharing with the community their creative practice and how it has evolved as a result of the award.

The Advertiser’s Contemporary Art Award is for the most outstanding work in any medium. Susan Bruce won a cash prize of $5,000 for her exhibition, Through My Lens at Adelaide Festival Centre. Susan created her own landscape through ripping, photographing drawing and painting a changing landscape, with portals used throughout as a metaphor for a lens.

The Unitcare Services Digital Media Award seeks to encourage experimentation in new media and is for artists working in digital art including computer, moving image, virtual, interactive, sound, and internet platforms.  Marian Sandberg won the award and cash prize of $5,000 for her work, The Presence at FELTspace.

Stephanie Doddridge was awarded The City Rural Emerging Artist Award and a cash prize of $2,500 for her exhibition, On Harvesting Dandelions at St Peter’s Cultural Heritage Centre Gallery. This award is for artists in the early stages of their career, with under five years professional experience.

The City of Unley Active Aging Award is for artists over the age of 60, celebrating the City of Unley’s involvement with SALAand its commitment to promoting and supporting an active ageing approach. This year’s award went to Katrina Linn for her work in the exhibition ‘Art Expression @ 123 Fisher’ at Living Choice, Fullarton.  Katrina won a cash prize of $2,000 and an exhibition space in Unley at Hughes Gallery for SALA Festival in 2024.

The Don Dunstan Foundation Award is for artists whose work explores social justice themes which align with the objectives and priorities of the Don Dunstan Foundation including homelessness; mental health; migration (including cultural and ethnic diversity); economic equality and justice; Aboriginal economic empowerment and reconciliation; human rights; or Don Dunstan himself.

Tyson Jay Brant won the award and cash prize of $1,000 for his exhibition, Forgotten Fables of the South-East exhibited at Little Blue Wren Gifts & Art in Mt Gambier. Tyson’s work is a collision between pop art, graffiti art and social commentary around themes of homelessness.

The City of Onkaparinga SALA Artist Residency was awarded to Laura Wills and Jackie Saunders. This residency offers a South Australian contemporary artist (or collaboration) the opportunity to undertake a twelve week site-responsive studio-based residency at Sauerbier House in Port Noarlunga in 2024.

Presented in partnership with Atkins Lab and the Centre for Creative Photography and praxis ARTSPACE, the SALA Solo Photographic Opportunity was awarded to Yasemin Sauncu. This opportunity is for an artist exhibiting photographic work in SALA Festival, to support them in presenting a solo photographic exhibition of new work in the following year (SALA Festival 2024).

Inspiring SA Science in Art Award was awarded to Kate Kurucz for her work in the show Eventual Horizon at the Hugo Michell Gallery. This award is for artists whose work explores / engages with science or scientific issues.

The Hither & Yon Venue Award will be announced later in September with award winners detailed on the SALA website and via social media.

SALA Festival has also announced Julia Robinson will be the featured artist for 2024 and the focus of the 2024 South Australian Living Artists Publication, which will be penned by Leigh Robb, Hannah Kent and emerging writer Jess Taylor.

For more information about SALA Winners and Nominees and all SALA exhibitions that are continuing, visit: for details.

Image: Jess Taylor, Julia Robinson, Hannah Kent and Leigh Robb – photo by Sam Roberts