The Bayton Award returns this year

Published on 04 May 2023


Central Queensland’s richest art prize, The Bayton Award, returns this year with prizes totalling $18,000 and including, for the first time, two emerging artist bursaries.

The competition, organised by Rockhampton Museum of Art, is open to artists working with all form of art media residing in Central Queensland.

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.

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 Gallery Director Don Taylor.

The competition will open on Monday 19 June. 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.

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

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

“I encourage local artists, in particular young / emerging artists, to submit entries to the competition,” he said.

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

More information:


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

Open to artists residing in the following local government areas: Rockhampton, Livingstone, Gladstone, Banana, Woorabinda, Central Highlands, Isaac, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Winton, Barcoo, Diamantina and Boulia.


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


Easton Dunne in their studio 2022. Photo by Obscura