PORTLAND artist Ray Thomas and former Koroit artist Vicki Couzens have been shortlisted for the 2009 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards.Thomas and Couzens are two of the 18 indigenous artists in the running for the $25,000 first prize, which comprises $20,000 cash plus professional development support to the value of $5000.State arts minister Lynne Kosky recently announced the nominees, saying they displayed diversity among contemporary indigenous art."The shortlisted works reflect a range of traditional and contemporary styles and mediums including painting, photography, sculpture and digital mixed media works," Ms Kosky said."It is an inspiring showcase of Victorian talent ."Thomas' Land Rights and Couzens' Wangan Ngootyoong II were selected from 111 entries. There are 25 artworks in the running for the top award between the 18 artists.The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards were created to celebrate and promote the state's Aboriginal art sector and raise the profile of the artists. Winners will be announced on November 27 and an accompanying exhibition will be open to the public from November 28 at Boscia Galleries in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
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