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Clinton Naina

CIAF Art Awards

Each year CIAF and the Art Award sponsors recognise the incredible diversity and talent of Queensland's Indigenous artists.

CIAF is proud to boast one of the largest prize pools for our Art Awards: $50,000.

The CIAF Art Awards support the professional development of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The Awards encourage artists to increase their profile and creative capacity in the pursuit of innovation and excellence. 

The CIAF Art Awards process is unique in that there is no application process to enter the Awards, all eligible works on display within the Art Fair space are judged. These include works presented by Queensland Indigenous Art Centres (IACA members), Local and Commercial Galleries, Independent Artists and Guest Artists.

Changing each year, a panel of esteemed arts academics and professionals are selected to judge the awards.

CIAF Art Awards categories are:

Premier’s Award for Excellence
Sponsored by the Queensland Government

Art Centre Award
Sponsored by Cairns Regional Council

Innovation Award
Sponsored by Holding Redlich

3D, Design, Sculpture & Installation Award
Sponsored by Ports North

Emerging Artist Award
Sponsored by Apunipima Cape York Health Council

People’s Choice Award
Sponsored by Fibre Optics NQ

Find out who the past winners were below:

Judges (2022)

José Roca (Artistic Director, 23rd Biennale of Sydney)

José Roca is a Colombian curator, currently the Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. He is also the Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura, an independent space for contemporary art in Bogotá, and Curator of the LARA (Latin American Roaming Art) Collection. From 2012 to 2015 he was the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate, London. He managed for a decade the arts program at the Banco de la República in Bogotá. Roca was a co-curator of the I Poly/graphic Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004), the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006) and the Encuentro de Medellín MDE07 (2007), and was the Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international Triennial celebrating print in contemporary art. He served on the awards jury for the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007), and was the chief curator of the 8 Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011).

Katina Davidson (Curator of Indigenous Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art)

Katina Davidson (Kullilli/Yuggera) is Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane where she has co-curated Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home (2020) and the upcoming Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art, opening in August 2022. Prior to QAGOMA, she worked at State Library of Queensland’s kuril dhagun, and is a graduate of the National Gallery of Australia’s Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership Program, where she went on to be the inaugural member of the Arts Fellowship Program in the Learning & Access team at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). She has also participated in the 57th Venice Biennale Emerging Indigenous Curators Program in 2017.

Gerry Turpin (Senior Ethnobotanist, Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre, James Cook University)

Gerry Turpin is an Mbabaram Traditional Owner from north Queensland with familial links to Wadjanbarra Yidinjii, Nadjon and Kuku Thaypan. He is an Indigenous Ethnobotanist with the Australian Tropical Herbarium, Department of Science (DES) and has been employed by the state government for about 30 years. He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at James Cook University, Smithfield
Campus. Gerry is the coordinator of the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre in partnership with Cairns Institute James Cook University (Smithfield), DES and CSIRO. As an Indigenous ethnobotanist Gerry has a strong cultural commitment to facilitating effective partnerships that support Indigenous communities to protect, manage and maintain their cultural knowledge on the use of plants.