Orange Regional Gallery will launch the prestigious Kedumba Drawing Award this week.

A highlight of this launch, timed for Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm, will be the announcement of the list of drawings selected to become part of the Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings, which is currently on long-term loan to the Gallery.

The annual award has showcased some of Australia’s most eminent artists during its 27 year history, and this year includes drawings by 20 of the most accomplished artists working in Australia today.

Instead of having a single winner, the judge for the Kedumba Drawing Award selects four or five works each year to be bought from the artist and added to the Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings. This produces an ever-growing collection which is very high in quality and diversity.

Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair Cr Ron Gander believes hosting the award is a major coup for the Gallery and the city.

“The Kedumba is considered the premier drawing award in the country, and to have it being held at our gallery is exciting for the region,” Cr Ron Gander said.

“To have an entire exhibition dedicated to artworks that have been drawn, will be very popular and shows this tradition of art is alive and well.”

Gallery Director, Lisa Loader said she is proud that this significant collection of around 220 works is on long term loan to Orange Regional Gallery.

“We’re very fortunate to have this collection at the Gallery, and works from it are often featured in our exhibitions, including one of our current exhibitions Ways of Being: Portraits from the Collection, as well as being shown at Orange Health Service as part of our Arts + Health partnership,” Lisa Loader said.

Ms Loader said because the award is judged each year by an eminent Australian artist, it produces the multi-faceted character of the Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings.

“This year the judge is highly-regarded artist and teacher Paul Delprat, who is also the principal of the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney,” Lisa Loader said

“We’ve just unwrapped the works for this year’s award and it’s a very strong exhibition. We’re very much looking forward to finding out which works will be added to the collection when the acquisitions are announced on Saturday afternoon.”

This year’s artists are: Tim Allen, John Bokor, Chris Casali, Maryanne Coutts, Todd Fuller, Gabrielle Jones, Gina Kalabishis, Martin King, Jo Lane, Rowen Matthews, Kevin McKay, Julie Nettleton, Stephen Nova, Edgar Schilter, Heather Vallance, Peter Wegner, Mirra Whale, Tim Winters, Gosia Wlodarczak and Lisa Woolfe.

Initiated by Jeffrey and Marlene Plummer in 1989 the Kedumba award has grown steadily to now be a major event in the nation’s visuals art calendar.

Director of the Kedumba Drawing Award and Kedumba Collection, Jeffrey Plummer, is pleased by the gradual growth of the collection’s standing in the arts community.

“As the instigator of the Kedumba Drawing Award, I have watched the baby crawl and have then seen the baby walk. And now I see Kedumba fully grown and running with Orange Regional Gallery playing a major role,” Jeffrey Plummer said.

The Kedumba Drawing Award will be launched and the acquisitions announced on Saturday 20 August at 2:30pm.

Entry to the award ceremony is $25 per person. This is a fundraising event. All proceeds go towards the purchase of works for the Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings, now on long-term loan to Orange Regional Gallery. Please book at Gallery reception or ring (02) 6393 8136.

The Kedumba Drawing Award 2016 is on display at Orange Regional Gallery from 20 August to 16 October 2016.

The Director of the Kedumba Drawing Award and Kedumba Collection Jeffrey Plummer, and Assistant Director and Curator of the Kedumba Drawing Award, Marlene Plummer, will be available for interviews and photographs Thursday 18 - Saturday 20 August 2016.