This year sees the Rotary Cartoon Awards achieving their 24th Anniversary, with an exhibition and celebration to be held at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery in July.
The Rotary Cartoon Awards competition is designed to recognise the best of Australian and international cartoons.
The Awards are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City to raise funds for various Rotary charities and to promote cartooning through the Bunker Cartoon Gallery.
This year the exhibition will feature all Award winners, as well as the top 100 cartoons recommended by the judging panel, for framing. Also on display will be a collection called African Beauty, acrylic paintings by local artist, Richy Barber.
Coffs Harbour City Council’s Bunker Cartoon Gallery, keeping place of the Rotary Cartoon Collection, will host this annual event, with the support of the local business community and philanthropic donors. A total prize pool of $10,000, including cash prizes, medals and certificates, has been raised.
At the time of printing, the estimated total number of entries for the 24th Rotary Cartoon Awards was over 800, with 44% of entries in the International Section, cartooning the theme: Living in an ‘i’ World (embracing smart technology). Digital entries dominated this year, as the preferred method of delivery, with 85% arriving by email attachment.
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery team of volunteers have developed and carried out strategies for downloading and processing this flood of large files, utilizing cyber services and using modest computer hardware to access, scan, print, and prepare for judges to make their selection of Awards.
This year, new artists outnumber regular participants, attesting to the power of the internet as it reaches more and more national and international cartoonists, with the hope of taking out the major prize of $3,000.
40 Australian Cartoonists have produced cartoons on politics, sport, caricature, comic strip, and the open theme, as well as this year’s special theme of Carbon Emissions Tax. Regulars to Rotary Cartoon Awards will recognise works by renowned cartoonists such as David Rowe, Glen Le Lievre, Jason Chatfield, Lindsay Foyle, Mark Lynch, and Phil Judd.
The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City commenced collecting cartoons in 1989, with the aim to exhibit, promote and conserve black and white art (cartooning) and to ultimately raise funds for Rotary Charities. Today, Coffs Harbour City Council provides in kind support to this project which is enjoyed by the community, with monthly changing displays, amid arts and crafts exhibitions and touring shows.
International tourists particularly enjoy finding cartoons from their home country on display during this extraordinary exhibition, with over 30 countries represented.