THOUSANDS of people have taken the opportunity to view the Archibald Prize 2018 exhibition, and Orange Regional Gallery staff are urging those who haven't to make sure they catch the portraits in their final days in the city.
Since opening in February more 10,000 people have visited the exhibition, many of whom were making their first foray to the gallery.
In that time, ORG's Public Engagement and Education Officer Cecilie Knowles has delivered workshops and conducted tours for over 600 students.
Youngsters from Trinity Preschool, Bletchington Public, Glenroi Public, Spring Hill Public, St Mary's Catholic Primary, Kinross Wolaroi, Manildra Public, Molong's St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Orange Public and Orange High schools were among those to take in the portraits, as well as students from other schools across the Central West.
ORG director Bradley Hammond said there were wide-ranging benefits for those groups.
We believe in the importance of students and teachers having the opportunity to experience art in the gallery environment.- Orange Regional Gallery director Bradley Hammond
"We really appreciate teachers taking time out from their busy schedules to bring their students to the gallery," Mr Hammond said.
"We believe in the importance of students and teachers having the opportunity to experience art in the gallery environment.
"We see time and again how many students understand the significance of art when in a gallery environment, in ways that they wouldn't when viewing decontextualised artworks on an iPad."
In addition to the school tours, the exhibition has been seen by groups from the University of the Third Age, Wangarang Industries, and the Country Women's Association.
Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the exhibition's works are a who's-who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities, and from sporting heroes to artists.
Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia's foremost portraiture prize.
The Archibald Prize awards $100,000 prize money for the winning artist, with the entries judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour.
The acclaimed exhibition will close in Orange at 4pm on Wednesday.
ORG is open daily from 10am-4pm, with free entry. Head to www.org.nsw.gov.au for more information.
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