The JADA (Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award)
The flagship of the Grafton Regional Gallery.
The Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) has been the means by which the Grafton Regional Gallery has gathered a unique and impressive collection of contemporary Australian drawing. Since the establishment of the drawing acquisition prize in 1988 there has been over one hundred works acquired into the collection from leading, established and emerging artists.
In 1988 the Jacaranda Art Exhibition Prize was presented for the first time by the Grafton Regional Gallery with the support of the Jacaranda Art Society, as a specialised acquisitive Australian drawing prize.
The inaugural Director of the Gallery, Julian Faigen, made the decision to change the dynamics of the Jacaranda Society Art Prize from a various medium open prize with four sections to a specific award for drawing. This decision recognised the need for regional galleries to specialise in their collections to allow for the development of identity, to reflect regional and historical difference, to encourage diversity and to reduce competition with other public institutions.
In 1994 the Jacaranda Art Society exhibition became the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award and formed into the structure it still holds today; a biennial award with entries selected by a panel of art professional for exhibition from which the judge selects the acquisitive first prize and further acquisitions.
The Friends of the Gallery became the sole sponsors of a $5,000 first prize in 1998 with the gallery JADA fund allowing the $5,000 of further acquisitions of the award. In 2000 the total prize money doubled to $20,000 and to celebrate the twenty years of the JADA in 2008 the award was increased to $30,000. In 2016 the prize was again increased to $40,000.
Since 1998 the JADA Exhibition has toured throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia, travelling to several regional and metropolitan galleries during the two years between awards.
The JADA provides artists who reside in Australia a unique opportunity to explore the complexity of drawing. The award seeks to encourage and promote innovation and excellence and plays a vital role in fostering Australian drawing practice.
The unique and impressive JADA collection exemplifies the developments and changing parameters of contemporary drawing since 1988. The collection explores the way that drawing resonates as a contemporary medium, demonstrating the relevance and strength of drawing. Works in the collection offer a varied and extensive overview of drawing ranging from highly resolved articulate works to spontaneous expressive works that are mostly retained on the conventional support of paper.
By allowing this award to be the major focus of the gallery’s acquisition policy, the collection has attractively developed through the tastes, opinions and approaches of the various judges into a collection that is compelling, thought provoking, innovative, exuberant, and diverse.
The JADA would not be possible without the generosity of our many sponsors. The major sponsors are the Friends of the Grafton Regional Gallery who raise $15,000 towards the prize money.