Initiated in 2004 the Moruya Basil Sellers Art Prize is held every two two years, starting at $10,000 and increased to $15,000 in 2010.
In 2003 Mr Basil Sellers AM extended his sponsorship to our mission activities to establish the Basil Sellers Art Centre in Moruya on the same property as Basil Sellers House, the elite athlete respite facility for the Australian Institute of Sport.
At that art centre's official opening, Basil Sellers announced the $10,000 art prize for the town's arts community for the following year. An Art Prize committee consisting of three identities in Moruya was established and the 2004 initial art prize was conducted with much fan fare.
This inaugural Basil Sellers Art Prize gained such good will and promotion that the Eurobodalla Shire Council offered to host successive art prizes and by 2010 it had extended to the five southern Shires – Eurobodalla, Bega, Braidwood, Bombala and Snowy Mountains.
Tonight's Basil Sellers Art Prize will be the fifth of the total of six in the program (2014). The $15,000 Art Prize is the nation's largest country town "private prize giving".
The other Basil Sellers Art Prize
The Moruya art prize gave inspiration to Mr Basil Sellers to develop the Melbourne Basil Sellers $100,000 Art-Sport Prize at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University.
There are two more Melbourne Art-Sport prizes in that program extending through to 2016. The 2012 Melbourne Art-Sport Prize winner Jon Campbell celebrated sporting nick names.
This art prize exhibition is being transferred in February to the Gold Coast Art Centre.
Art has ministry input
Moruya has a very active arts community and it was my privilege to have served on the Moruya Arts Council for most of our 14 years in the town while serving at the Basil Sellers House athlete respite facility and as the Resident Artist at the
Moruya Basil Sellers Art Centre.
When we relocated to Tweed Heads in December 2005 to establish the Basil Sellers Tweed athlete respite facility, it wasn't long the Basil Sellers Tweed Art Studio was up and running.
Graham Aston of the Gold Coast Guide tourist booklet recognised the art ministry benefits and sponsors a half page promotion as both an arts and tourism ministry project.
Art has become a central feature of my ministry since 1999 when I fell ill in Moruya with stress co-ordinating the national sports ministry. I turned to art to relieve the pressures upon my soul and found art to be a wonderful relaxant.
Sport, Respite and Art has led to the following mission outcomes:
Basil Sellers Moruya (athlete respite)
Basil Sellers Art Centre,
Moruya Basil Sellers $15,000 Art Prize,
(inspired the Melbourne Basil Sellers $100,000 Sport-Art Prize)
Basil Sellers Tweed (athlete respite)
Basil Sellers Tweed Art Studio
Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite cottage.
Basil Sellers Cricket Family Respite (Life After Cricket)
Basil Sellers Country Town Tours (athletes / coaches as role models)
Basil Sellers Press Service International – the young writers program
Basil Sellers Around the Tables (mission)
Basil Sellers Australian Missionary News IPTV (mission interviews)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html