Minderoo Foundation matches public donations to keep Sculpture by the Sea afloat for 2021

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Visitors to Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe beach donated almost $96,000 to keep the popular public art exhibition afloat for 2021.

The Minderoo Foundation matched voluntary public contributions, meaning that organisers have close to $192,000 to put towards the $2 million costs of staging the event next year.

It is the first time Sculpture by the Sea, which began at Cottesloe in 2005 and received almost $400,000 in public funding this year, has asked for financial support from visitors. Individuals were asked to donate $5 each, while families chipped in $10.

The open-air exhibition closed four days early on March 19 because of the community transmission of COVID-19.

Founding director David Handley said that the “heart-warming” public support gave organisers “the energy and resolve to do everything we can to return next year”.

Local artists Mikaela Castledine and Ayad Alqaragholli shared the EY People’s Choice Prize of $5000 with Tasmanian sculptor Marcus Tatton, while cheeky arts collective Cool S… won the Kids’ Choice Prize of $2000 for the inflatable work Homer Homer.

Seventy artists from 17 countries contributed works.