2017 Warrnibald People's Choice award winners announced

Winner: Warrnambool Art Gallery director Vanessa Gerrans stands by the 2017 Warrnibald people's choice award winning entry of John Papadopoulos entitled 'Pappa - Exploring identity' by Anne Wines. Picture: Rebecca Riddle
Winner: Warrnambool Art Gallery director Vanessa Gerrans stands by the 2017 Warrnibald people's choice award winning entry of John Papadopoulos entitled 'Pappa - Exploring identity' by Anne Wines. Picture: Rebecca Riddle

Only five votes separated the winner and runner-up in this year’s Archibool prize.

The annual people’s choice award category within the Warrnibald Art Prize was announced on Sunday.

More than 60 artists, portrait subjects and art enthusiasts gathered at the Warrnambool Art Gallery to celebrate the winning entries.

Pappa – Exploring Identity by Warrnambool artist Anne Wines was awarded first prize with 110 votes.

Second prize with 105 votes was Jane Moloney’s portrait of Lindsay Brodie entitled Wangoom Legend.

Warrnambool Art Gallery director Vanessa Gerrans said this year’s voting was the tightest in the competition’s history.

“The exhibition this year has been so popular,” she said. “We’ve had over 4000 people through in the last month.

“The people’s choice award, or as we fondly refer to it ‘The Archibool’, tallied 1000 votes this year.

“Portraits entered were of people who have made significant contributions to culture, charity, business, sport or politics and we had an impressive suite of personalities to draw from.”

Ms Gerrans said the Warrnibald was particularly poignant for Warrnambool.

“It draws inspiration from the Archibald Prize which is fitting with this gallery space,” she said.

“The WAG has a strong connection to the Archibald family.

“Joseph Archibald was a sergeant of police in Warrnambool and founded this gallery 130 years ago in 1886.”

The Standard newspaper also shared a connection.

“Joseph Archibald’s son Jules Francois Archibald who began his career in journalism at The Standard here at 15 years old, went on to found the famous Archibald Prize, which the Warrnibald is based on.”

The winners weren’t present at the event on Sunday.

Anne Wines said she had not attended due to family commitments.

“I didn’t expect to win,” she said. “But I’m thrilled to have had my portrait chosen.”

“John is quite a diverse character so it’s nice for him too.”

John “Pappa” Papadopoulos is a Japanese language teacher at Warrnambool Primary School.

Born in Melbourne to Greek Cypriot parents Mrs Wines chose to paint Mr Papadopoulos because he has “Enriched the cultural and educational fabric of Warrnambool.”

Mrs Wines, an art teacher at Warrnambool’s Emmanuel College, said the competition was a positive fundraiser for a worthy cause. 

Ms Gerrans said art sales would support WDEA’s Artlink program.

“We had 34 entries this year and have already raised $2000 for the program.”