The prestigious Basil Sellers Art Prize opens in July at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. 

French-Algerian philosopher and Nobel Prize winning author, Albert Camus, once said “After many years, during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA (the Algiers Racing University football team).”

Not everyone would agree that sport is the key to understanding human experience, but it’s certainly true that Australians connect sport with anything from community life and personal achievement through to historical and political controversies.

Sport is also a recurring theme in Australian art. For artists today, sport touches upon anything from everyday life through to globalisation, from the concrete experience of a game through to abstract notions like cheating and fair play. Sport is about winners and losers, individuals and teams, rules and penalties, equipment and architecture, fans and souvenirs, triumphs and scandals.

The Basil Sellers Art Prize defines sport in the broadest possible sense. 

2016 marks the final year of this acquisitive prize worth $100,000. It will be awarded to a single, outstanding artwork created by one of 17 finalists in this year’s exhibition: Abdul Abdullah (UNSW Art & Design graduate), Jane Brown, Kate Daw and Stewart Russell, Shaun Gladwell (UNSW Art & Design graduate), Rew Hanks (UNSW Art & Design graduate), Dana Harris, Grant Hobson, Richard Lewer, William Mackinnon, Laith McGregor, Fiona McMonagle, Eamon O'Toole, Trent Parke and Narelle Autio, David Ray, and Vipoo Srivilasa (UNSW Art & Design graduate). An additional $5000 Peoples’ Choice award will be awarded based on votes by visitors to the exhibition.

This year’s judges include Kelly Gellatly, Director, The Ian Potter Museum of Art; Christine Clark, Exhibition Manager, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Maurice O’Riordan, Director, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin; Chris Langford, former AFL footballer and current AFL Commissioner; and Dr Chris McAuliffe, representative of the Sellers Group and Professor of Art, Australian National University.