An art gallery space with portrait paintings on the walls.
SATIRE: The 2024 Bald Archy Prize features paintings of humour, dark satire, light comedy or caricature.

Arts & Culture

The Bald Archy Prize is back for its 28th year

Published: 02 Feb 2024 1:27pm

Australia’s premier satirical art competition, the Bald Archy Prize is launching its 2024 exhibition at the Watson Art Centre, Canberra, today, Friday 2 February.

Created by the late Peter Batey OAM, the Bald Archy Prize celebrates the lighter side of art and the larrikin Australian spirit.

Featuring paintings that include wit, slapstick, vulgarity, farce, black comedy, irreverence, and everything in between, the prize pokes fun at Australians distinguished in art, letters, politics, sport or the media.

The back of a man standing in an art gallery space looking at artworks. The artworks on the wall are caricature portrait paintings of Australian sporting personalities.
SPORTING STARS: The 2024 Bald Archy Prize features portraits of well-known Australian people, including sporting personalities.

After Peter Batey passed away in 2019, the administration of the Bald Archy Prize was handed over to the Museum of the Riverina.

The 2024 exhibition kicks off at the Watson Art Centre in Canberra before it sets off on a year-long tour across NSW and Victoria.

Museum of the Riverina Manager Luke Grealy is excited for another successful year for the Bald Archy Prize.

“We have seen a significant increase in entries this year after a successful 2023 tour,” Mr Grealy said.

“With a $10,000 first prize up for grabs, we’ve had artists from across Australia throw their hat in the ring.

“While entries are often controversial, the Bald Archy Prize has a broad public appeal, people love it, we have even had visitors drive from as far as Melbourne to Wagga Wagga just to see the 2023 exhibition.

A man stands in front of a portrait in an art gallery. He looks happy and is gesturing with his arm.
LAUNCH: Museum of the Riverina Manager Luke Grealy at the Watson Art Centre, Canberra, where the 2024 Bald Archy Prize is on exhibition.

“The quirkiness isn’t just in the artworks; Professor Maude Cockatoo, the sulphur-crested cockatoo who traditionally judges the prize, has been reviewing her notes ahead of the first prize announcement in March.”

The 2024 Bald Archy Prize is on exhibition at the Watson Art Centre, Canberra, from 2 February – 17 March 2024, with the announcement of the winner of the $10,000 first prize to take place on Friday 15 March.

Last year’s 2023 Bald Archy Prize is currently on show at the Museum of the Riverina – Historic Council Chambers until Wednesday 27 February 2024.

Exhibition details, tour dates and locations and more about the history of the Bald Archy Prize can be found via the Bald Archy website.


2024 Bald Archy Prize

Watson Art Centre, 1 Aspinall St, Watson ACT

2 February 2024 - 17 March 2024

Announcement of winner: Friday 15 March, 6pm.

Tour dates available at