Victoria's regional art galleries have long punched well above their weight and that tradition continues with the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale set to host the Archibald Prize.
Named by the Art Gallery of NSW as the sole Victorian host venue for the 2021 Archibald Prize Regional Tour, the gallery will host the prestigious prize for portraiture from October 8 to November 21, celebrating its centenary year.
Gallery director Simon Gregg says having the Archibald Prize on the doorstep confirms the gallery's position as the premier cultural destination in Gippsland.
"We are excited for the opportunities this will bring to the region after a year that has been dominated by drought, bushfires and then the pandemic," Gregg says.
The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, "preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia".
Just over 200 kilometres east of Melbourne, Sale is the ideal jumping off point to explore the area's rich food offerings, wineries and farmer's markets.
There's also Ninety Mile Beach, a pristine stretch of sand separating the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait, and Tarra Bulga National Park with Corrigan's Suspension Bridge stretching across the forest canopy.
And for more human artistry, the town of Yarram has 12 murals painted by renowned street and silo artist Heesco Khosnaran honouring people who shaped the region.