Art prize winners announced as Bondi Festival 2024 kicks off

10 July 2024 | Council News

Amid the buzz and excitement of the launch of Bondi Festival on Friday night, Bronte Leighton-Dore (pictured below) was announced as the 38th annual Waverley Art Prize for her painting Silent meeting, a blue sky, South Coast.

Leighton-Dore was presented with the $15,000 Open Prize by Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos for her large-scale painting based on studies done in the Bermagui State Forrest.

The judges, artists Joan Ross and Julia Gutman, described the work as  “an exquisite, abstracted landscape bringing a poetic and transformative quality”.

Mayor Masselos said the Waverley Arts Prize was an essential part of the arts and culture feast that is Bondi Festival, and an important way support and recognise both the local and national arts community.

“Tonight we celebrate the talent, creativity and passion of our local artists whose diverse and dynamic collection of works are sure to inspire,” she said.

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The art prize is presented in partnership with the Waverley Woollahra Art School, the longest running artist-run initiative in Waverley.

Highly Commended mention also went to Christopher Zanko for Midday Brick House, a wood relief carving that captures the essence of a brightly illuminated day, where the sun’s rays saturate the brick façades of a home, casting an almost ethereal aura of warmth.

The Mayor’s Prize of $2,000 went to Sophie Bray for her work Alone with a thousand eyes and Highly Commended went to Jasmine Mowbray, Arcadia. The Local Prize of $1,500 went to Lisa Patroni for her work, Geometry of Echoes.

The Waverley Art Prize was established in 1986 and has a long history as a painting and drawing prize, with an illustrious alumnus of previous winners. This year almost 419 entries were received with 38 finalists.

But the competition is far from over! Online voting for the People’s Choice Prize is open. To vote, visit

The exhibition is open until Sunday 18 August 2024 with closing drinks and the announcement of the People’s Choice Prize from 3pm – 5pm on the closing day.

The Bondi Festival is a 17-day all-inclusive event that brings the best in comedy, performance, family fun, street parties, ice skating and Ferris wheel, to Bondi Pavilion and surrounding locations until Sunday 17 July.