Sentinels and showboats – milestones in print collecting
30 June 2012 to 9 September 2012

Sentinels and showboats jointly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Gallery’s first acquisitive print prize and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of its key support group, the Geelong Gallery Grasshoppers.

This special exhibition highlights the richness and diversity of the print medium as well as the strength of contemporary practice. The works on display feature a wide range of print techniques and formats such as etchings, linocuts, wood engravings, mezzotints, digital prints and artist’s books.

It also offers an exciting and rare opportunity for visitors to view the award-winning works as a complete ensemble including some of the highlights of Geelong Gallery’s outstanding print collection.

In 1962 Geelong Gallery was the first public gallery in Australia to initiate a prize dedicated to contemporary printmaking. Throughout its 116 year history the Geelong Gallery has been committed to developing and exhibiting a significant print collection — from its first print acquisition in the early 1900s to the initiation of a series of acquisitive print prizes.

The Gallery’s earliest acquisitive print prizes were mounted from 1962 to 1974 while the Geelong Gallery Grasshoppers were established in 1982 to raise funds and to act as ambassadors for the institution. In 1997 the Grasshoppers’ fundraising efforts were channeled towards the re-instatement of the acquisitive print awards – the format of which continues to the present day. The Grasshoppers’ support (together with that of a separate anonymous donor) also enables the Geelong Gallery to acquire a selection of shortlisted works for its nationally significant collection.