Entries now open for 2023 Bayton Award

Published on 20 June 2023

Tobias De Maine, 2017 Bayton Award winner

Entries for the much-anticipated 2023 Bayton Award are now open, with many artists from throughout the region already expressing interest in the competition.

Organised by Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMOA), The Bayton Award is open to artists working with all form of art media residing in Central Queensland, covering local government areas of Rockhampton, Livingstone, Gladstone, Banana, Woorabinda, Central Highlands, Isaac, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Winton, Barcoo, Diamantina and Boulia.

A total of $18,000 in prize money is on offer.

Begun in 2012, The Bayton Award is an art prize named in honour of The Right Reverend John Bayton who was the Chair of Rockhampton Art Gallery’s Art Acquisition Fund in 1975. An artist in his own right, he was instrumental in establishing Rockhampton’s collection of nationally significant artworks, together with Mayor Rex Pilbeam, architect Neil McKendry and Rockhampton Art Gallery Director Don Taylor.

Rockhampton Regional Council Communities and Heritage Spokesperson Cr Drew Wickerson said that The Bayton Award was an exciting time for local artists.

“RMOA has been fielding enquiries from potential entrants almost every day since the 2023 award’s announcement, including many emerging artists looking for their first big opportunity to show their work,” Cr Wickerson said.

“It’s a great opportunity for our local artists to shine and Council is very happy to have created and to continue to deliver this award,” he said.

Cr Wickerson said that The Bayton Award is an important opportunity for two reasons.

“First, local artists will have their artwork viewed by arts leaders, who will shortlist the finalists and pick the winners. Second, if shortlisted, artists will have their work on display in Queensland’s largest regional art gallery for an audience of about 200 people per day,” he said.

In addition to prizes for first place, runner up and people’s choice, the Bayton Award this year includes The Chris Warby Emerging Artist Bursaries of $1000 each. The bursaries are provided by the Warby family in honour of Chris Warby, a young local artist who was tragically killed in October 1971.

Entries will close on Monday 24 July at 4pm. A selection panel of visual arts experts from outside Central Queensland will shortlist the entries, with finalists going on to be exhibited at Rockhampton Museum of Art in October through to November this year.

The selection panel comprises:

  • Freja Carmichael, Quandamooka woman and independent curator in Meanjin/Brisbane
  • Naomi Evans, Curator for Griffith University Art Museum and Adjunct Fellow for Queensland College of Art in Meanjin/Brisbane
  • Stephen Bird, artist and Lecturer at Byron School of Art

    Special guest judge Hamish Sawyer, a curator, writer and Acting Director for NorthSite in Gimuy/Cairns, will judge the finalists.


Entries are open from Monday 19 June at 9am and will close on Monday 24 July at 4pm.

More information:

Rockhampton Museum of Art is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council.


The Bayton Award: $10,000
The Bayton Award Runner-Up: $5,000
The Bayton Award People’s Choice: $1000
Chris Warby Emerging Artist Bursary x 2: $1000 each

Entrants must have resided in one of the following regions or shires for 12 months or more in the 18 months immediately prior to the entry closing date 24 July 2023: Rockhampton, Livingstone, Gladstone, Banana, Woorabinda, Central Highlands, Isaac, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Winton, Barcoo, Diamantina and Boulia

Entries open: 19 June, 2023 at 9am
Entries close: 24 July, 2023 at 4pm
Prizegiving ceremony: Saturday 14 October, 2023
Exhibition period: 14 October to 26 November, 2023

Easton Dunne (2019)
Tobias de Maine (2017)
Carmel Knowles (2014)
Kobie Stewart (2013)
Patrick Connor (2012)

2017 Bayton  Award winner Tobias De Maine with his winning artwork.