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2016 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award

It’s right here on your doorstep Darwin, Australia’s most prestigious and long-running award dedicated to Indigenous art. And in it’s 33rd year, the 2016 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) is putting on a show to clear your calendar for.

By Anna Dowd

This year the NATSIAA celebrates 25 years of partnership with Telstra with artist’s workshops and performances throughout the weekend, and a sunset framed awards night of live music and dance.

At home in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), the exhibition of 74 finalists is a snapshot of the breadth of what’s happening in Indigenous art across Australia – and with 244 entries, and five category winners, the judging panel had no small task. Panelist Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of South Eastern Australia Aboriginal Collections from Museum Victoria, said they were impressed with the quality and diversity of this year’s entries. “The representation of country, culture, identity and politics is strong.”

An iconic event on the Dry season calendar, this year’s opening night celebrates this diversity aptly with music from East Journey, Excelsior, Djakapurra Munyarrun, Shellie Morris and Moonshine Productions, as well as dance performances from Jinnawi Dance clan. Throw your picnic rug out on the picturesque lawn, grab dinner from one of the food trucks on site and a drink from the bar, and you’ve got yourself a mini evening festival.

But don’t put away the diary there. Over the weekend you can head down to hear the winning artists talk with Luke Scholes, MAGNT Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture. Join in free painting and weaving workshops from central desert, Yolngu and Tiwi Islander artists, or find out how to prepare possum and wallaby skins for arm bands. The whole weekend is packed with opportunities to deepen your appreciation of this nationally significant exhibition.

WHEN Fri 5 Aug – Mon 31 Oct | Awards Presentation Fri 5 Aug, 6pm

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