2022 Judges | Main Awards

We are delighted to present this year’s judges. The judges will be selecting prize winners from the 2022 Lester Prize Finalists to be exhibited at The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) from 1 October – 20 November 2022.


Penny Grist is Curator Exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery. Penny holds a Master of Liberal Arts (Museums and Collections) from the Australian National University and honours degrees in Law and Art History from the University of Sydney. She has twice judged the National Photographic Portrait Prize (2016 and 2020) and has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions including Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits (2017), Before hand: The Private Life of a Portrait (2020), and Who Are You: Australian Portraiture (2022). Penny has also worked at the National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia, and the Office for the Arts. She writes regularly for arts publications and exhibition catalogues, and served on the National Council of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association between 2019 and 2021. In 2019, Penny was one of twenty Australians selected for the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program. She also volunteers as Chair of the Board of PhotoAccess, the ACT and region’s centre for contemporary photography, film and video and media arts. 


Jessyca Hutchens is a Palyku woman living and working in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia. She is currently the Curator at the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia, and she holds a post-doctoral research position at the Central European University in Vienna, working on the topic of repatriation. She has a DPhil in Art History from the University of Oxford and was previously the Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, working on a landmark Indigenous-led edition titled NIRIN. Jessyca regularly writes on contemporary art and has been published in Third Text, Artlink, Art Collector, and Artist Profile, and is the founding editor of an online journal of artistic research, oarplatform.com(.)


Colin Walker is the Director of The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Prior to his position with AGWA, he was the executive director of Culture and the Arts WA, a division of the West Australian State Government’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. He was the director of Arts & Business in the UK and consultant to the UK National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) for its Fellowship and Cultural Leadership programs. He acted as an arts sponsorship consultant to a range of international brands and many of the most recognisable arts institutions in the UK. 

2022 Pre-Selection Panellists | Main Awards

We are thrilled to present this year’s Pre-Selection Panellists. This dynamic group of professionals will select the 40 Finalists for the 2022 Lester Prize to be exhibited at The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) from 1 October – 20 November 2022.


Dr Clarissa Ball is an art historian with particular interests in late nineteenth and twentieth-century art and photography. She is currently the Head of the History of Art at The University of Western Australia, where she is also the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies. In 2018 she was appointed to the position of Deputy Director of the International Consortium, University Based Institutes of Advanced Studies. She previously held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Fine Arts at UWA (2009-2005). In 2019, Dr Ball was appointed to the Board of the Art Gallery of Western Australia.


Amy Barrett-Lennard has been Director of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) since April 2006, during which time PICA has become one of the region’s leading contemporary arts organisations. As a dynamic leader, as well as writer and curator, she has brought vision and vitality to a range of arts organisations across Australia and internationally. A regular contributor to the broader national and international arts communities, Amy has chaired and sat on numerous boards and panels, participated in forums and published texts on a diverse range of contemporary arts practices.


Linton Partington is a Founding Director of Linton & Kay Galleries which was established in 1998. He has made a significant contribution to the representation of artists from around Australia and internationally at numerous galleries across Perth. He is also Managing Director of Voxlab Pty Ltd, a multidisciplinary arts company which creates public art installations, sculpture, conceptual and integrated artworks in WA. It is also involved in Policy development, consultancy and strategic planning for arts and culture.


Bahar Sayed is the curatorial assistant at The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), a freelance writer and film hobbyist. Born and raised in Wanneroo, on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar, Bahar undertook further study in the Eastern States before returning to Perth in early 2020. Bahar’s background is in theological scholarship, art criticism and community organizing. She has arrived in the arts industry through her creative and community practice. Her work has been featured in UnMagazine, Fremantle Arts Centre, Runway Magazine, Running Dog, West Space Gallery, among others.


Tyrown Waigana is an artist and designer with Australian indigenous heritage. His background can be traced to Wandandi Noongar people from south-west Western Australia and Ait Koedal people from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait. His practice includes graphic design, illustration, painting, animation and sculpture. Waigana takes on a variety of projects, from corporate commissions looking for indigenous styled graphics to highly conceptual fine art and much more. He enjoys taking on projects that allow him to grow as an artist and all-round creative

Our Pre-Selection and Judging process.

  • The Pre-Selection Panel members and Judges for both the Adult Awards and Youth Awards change every year. They are a group of independent experts in their respective fields with no commercial association with The Lester Prize.
  • During the Pre-Selection process, the panel is never provided the name or location of the artist (just the artwork image, title, dimensions and medium on screen).
  • Unfortunately, due to the large volume of submissions, we are unable to provide individual feedback to entrants.
  • This is the same process that many art prizes both in Australia and overseas undertake, and one that the Prize has followed since its inception.
  • Our Pre-Selection and Judging processes are fully transparent and something we are very proud of as we work hard to ensure there is no bias, personal, political or financial influence in the selection of our Finalists and Winners.
  • We are unable to enter into any correspondence about the selection of the Finalists and Winners.
  • We stand by and support all our Finalists, and respect the decisions made by our independent Pre-Selection Panellists and Judges.