WA’s premier portrait prize is making its way to The Studio Gallery and Bistro in Yallingup, featuring works from the nation’s leading portrait artists. The Lester Prize is one of the nation’s most recognised and prestigious art prizes, with a prize pool worth more than $100,000 available to professional, emerging and young artists. The exhibition, which is now in its 16th year, will be held until April 10 and showcase works from the 2021 season. It encourages artists to submit a painting of an Australian, or Australians, that they respect or admire, or a self-portrait. Lester Prize executive director Annie Silberstein said she was excited to bring the exhibit to the South West after it had been cancelled in previous years due to COVID. “This year we are excited to be heading to the South West with the touring exhibition,” she said. “The touring exhibition did manage to visit Geraldton last year with much success, so we know it is really important to continue to include regional WA in our exhibition plans. “It is also great timing ... with school holidays coming up and the South West welcoming visitors again.” There were record-breaking artist submissions last year, surpassing the 750 record set the year before despite the ongoing disruptions from the global pandemic. The Studio Gallery and Bistro gallery director Sandy Tippett said the team was looking forward to hosting the exhibit. “Supporting a significant portraiture art prize like this is an enormous accomplishment for the region, giving artists of all ages, art lovers and collectors the opportunity to see the exhibition either for the first time or maybe even a second time,” she said. “We are delighted to share and expand the art culture further in our beautiful region and look forward to meeting and speaking with all interested visitors.” Submissions for the The Lester Prize 2022 are now open and will close on June 17.