Picture of city s rich heritage
Craig Perry's piece Barracks Arch.

The face of Perth is the latest subject to join the ranks of television personalities, musicians, artists and academics in the State's major portrait prize.

Images of city streets and major landmarks such as Kings Park, Perth train station, London Court and Council House are among the finalists in the new $20,000 Black Swan Prize for Heritage.

The "portrait of a city" competition sits alongside the $50,000 City of Perth Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, whose short list this year includes paintings of pop star Kimbra, broadcaster Phillip Adams, artist Robert Juniper and champion Thai boxer Harald "H-Bomb" Olsen.

Heritage Perth had joined Black Swan organisers to present the new award to celebrate "those things from the past which are valued enough today to save for the people of tomorrow", exhibition director Tina Wilson said.

She hoped the new award would bring a fresh perspective to Perth's heritage places that people may otherwise take for granted.

Ms Wilson likened the joint awards to the conjunction of the Archibald portraiture prize and Wynne landscape prize in Sydney.

"We are trying to establish a number of art prizes in the centre of Perth that means that a community can come together for events that take place over a week," she said. "It is about bringing more art into the city and to establish another prize that will in turn grow."

The portraiture prize has 40 finalists, 15 of them from WA, selected from more than 220 entries from around the country.

Stand-out works include Hamid Abassi's portrayal of sculptor Robert Hitchcock, Peter Kendall's portrait of musician Peter Altmeier-Mort and Gaye Chapman's self-portrait.

The 28 heritage award finalists range from the sublime, like Ian Everett's Reach and Olivia Monte's Future Treasurers, to the ridiculous (Janny Landre's City Walk).

Perth architect and artist Malcolm Mackay gives viewers food for thought with his mixed media piece Perth Railway Station: What Could've Been . . . based on the original 1890 design of WA principal architect George Temple Poole.

"My goal is to keep alive the architectural language and aspirations of the previous generations of architects who have contributed to our city," Mackay said.

The works will be on display at the new Linton and Kay Gallery in the Brookfield Place complex from September 20, with the winners announced on September 27.

The West Australian

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