Five times Archibald Prize finalist exhibiting on the Sunshine Coast

'Pizza in Assisi', Jan Williamson, oil on canvas, 76 x 76cm. Photo: Christine Hall

Jan Williamson is an acclaimed, professional artist who specialises in portraiture. Her paintings are grounded in memories of a life lived surrounded by family, and observations of children immersed in their own imaginary worlds.

Jan has raised nine children, and has welcomed 22 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. She has been living and painting on the Sunshine Coast for the last 10 years, after having holidayed almost annually at her favourite camping spot in Coolum since the 1970’s.

Born in Meanjin/Brisbane, Jan began drawing and painting at a young age. Some of her earliest memories were of drawing horses and cows, and people. She always loved drawing people. Largely self-taught with the assistance of books on painting and drawing, Jan acknowledges that she will always be learning. She has been painting and exhibiting for more than 50 years, and her works are represented in Australian and international private collections.

In 2000 while living in Sydney Jan decided that she would like to try entering the Archibald Prize. Her then picture framer introduced her to Tom Carroll, and her portrait was selected as a finalist in the inaugural Sporting Portrait Prize that year, launched in conjunction with the Sydney Olympics. A finalist five times in the Archibald Prize, Jan won the Packing Room Prize for two consecutive years with portraits of Jenny Morris and Rachel Ward (2002, 2003), and the People’s Choice Award in 2002 for her portrait of Morris. Jan is one of only three artists to have been awarded the Packing Room Prize twice, and taken out the People’s Choice Award and Packing Room Prize in the same year in the 100 year history of the Archibald Prize. Jan’s portraits have been selected as finalists in all the major Australian exhibitions. Her subjects have included; Tom Carroll, Jenny Morris, Rachel Ward, Wayne Bennett, David Williamson, Collette Dinnigan, Anne Geddes, INXS’s Andrew Farris, Sue McPherson, Professor Sally Walker, Vice Chancellor of Deakin University, Dr Eddie Liu, Father of Chinatown, Brisbane.

Ca Gallery, located in Coolum Beach, has represented Jan for more than 20 years. Her upcoming solo exhibition ‘A Moment in Time’, running 6th til 28th November is the most comprehensive exhibition of her works with the gallery, and her latest solo exhibition since the new gallery space opened at Access Crescent in 2017 (formerly Cool Art Picture Framing Gallery on Beach Road, Coolum). The gallery is delighted to be sharing some of Jan’s former Archibald prize finalist portraits during the exhibition. For more information or contact the gallery directors Joe and Erin (07) 5471 7366.