Hooray for Lynn Savery

by cheri sabraw

Wonderful and surprising news out of Australia last week when an unknown and self-trained artist Lynn Savery won the most lucrative art prize given in that country–the $150,000.00 Doug Moran prize.


She beat out a whole host of professional artists with her self portrait.


She told The Guardian Australia that “…This was her first oil painting and her first portrait, but she has “dabbled in drawing and other things.”

The art world can be a snobby self-satisfied and insecure group, which caters to name dropping, art collectors’ lucrative whims, and trendy trends.

Like dog show judges (see Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy’s satire  on that world in the film Best in Show), art show judges often follow suit by awarding prizes to artists whose work they know rather than the best work.  I’ve often thought that all art contests ought to be judged by non-artists. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

Congratulations to Lynn Savery but more kudos go to the judges who selected the painting they thought was the best without regard to who the artist is, where she went to art school, whom she has studied under, whether she is a plein air artist or a studio artist, and whether she uses photography as references or not.

Hooray for them!

How refreshing.