The winners of the Hornsby Art Prize have been announced, with Rew Hanks taking home the top prize for an image of a female figure surrounded by birds.

His artwork, Josephine’s Ark, was described by the judges as a “masterful synergy of medium and content. Witty, challenging and contemplative – a mesmerising combination of elements to create a truly outstanding work.”

The Hornsby Art Prize is the main event in the annual Festival of the Arts, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“It’s been amazing to watch the festival grow and develop over the past decade,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said.

“It began quite humbly but is now a genuine showcase of our community’s artistic and cultural talent.”

Special effort is made to highlight the work of local artists, particularly with the Wallarobba Outstanding Local Award.

This year it was won by Rona Sissons for her work, Udderly Delicious.

According to the judges, “It is a piece that demonstrates wit and whimsy and which demonstrates a use of ceramics that take it beyond the conventional.”

∞ Category Winner – Digital Art Stills Janet Tavener
∞ Category Winner – 3D Works Debra Jurss
∞ Category Winner – Drawing Claire Tozer
∞ Category Winner – Printmaking Roslyn Kean
∞ Category Winner – Painting Ross Richardson
∞ Hornsby Shire Emerging Artist Award Winner Kate Nielsen

The prize winners, along with the finalists, will be on exhibition at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre until 27 October.

To find out everything else that is happening in this year’s Festival of the Arts, visit