About The d’Arcy Doyle Art Awards – “The Doyles”
In 2001 the Mudgeeraba Community Association (MCA) organised a fun day for the community at the Mudgeeraba Showgrounds. It was called the Mudgeeraba Mad Pumpkin Party. Over 3,500 people attended the day. In conjunction with this event, local identity, Earle Hinschen organised a Pumpkin Cookbook titled “The Plentiful Pumpkin” and the publication was noticed by the media leading to the Channel 9 television station producing a cooking programme based on the book. In 2002 several artists approached Earle to do something for them in the area. As a result Earle met with the d’Arcy Doyle family. Jennefer Doyle, d’Arcy’s wife, willingly allowed an art competition to be set up in his name.
d’Arcy William Doyle had lived in Mudgeeraba for almost 30 years until his death in 2001. Starting out as a signwriter he developed great skills with a brush and in 1961, he found the confidence to become an artist on a full-time basis. d’Arcy worked in Sydney during the 1960s.
His career progressed when the Belmore Returned Services Club of Sydney commissioned him to paint a mural on the club walls. This was so popular that he received many similar commissions from other clubs. Throughout the early 1960’s he studied the works of Sir Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Charles Conder. Although becoming accomplished in portraiture and still life, d’Arcy excelled in using everyday life as his subject matter. His work has been likened to the American Artist Norman Rockwell in that they both found inspiration in the ordinary and succeeded in capturing an essence of their nation’s spirit in their paintings. The pictures evoke emotions in the Australian viewer, memories recalled and old sensations relived, leading to him being Australia’s best selling artist since the early 1980’s. It was estimated that 1 in 10 Australian homes had one of his works in some form.
And so ‘The Doyles’, as it is colloquially known, was established in 2004 with the original prize money of $3,000. In 2006 The Mudgeeraba Foundation sponsored the Awards, helping build a bright future. Throughout the years winners have found it to be a valuable stepping stone in their careers and have gone on to develop into full time artists. 2012 has brought on more changes with The Doyles becoming an independent organisation and a nationally recognised event, with prize money now totalling over $20,000. The primary prize money is awarded in the Landscape category in keeping with the favoured subject of its namesake, to perpetuate his memory and to encourage others in creation of quintessentially Australian Art. The Awards attract artists from throughout Australia and now even international entries are being received.
A new and larger venue at the Mudgeeraba Memorial Hall has enabled the Awards to incorporate a Junior d’Arcy Doyle Art Awards, artists in action and stage entertainment for the visitors and art lovers. The Gold Coast Spinners and Weavers Association have joined the d’Arcy Doyle Art Awards with yarn-bombing the trees in the Mudgeeraba shopping precinct.
A win at The Doyles has been an important stepping stone in each winning artist’s career. Indeed, all winners from the past years are now full-time professional artists. Hopefully this trend will continue.
The d’Arcy Doyle Art Awards is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide an avenue for artists to display their talents and to make “The Doyles” much bigger cultural event in Mudgeeraba.