Every year The Archibald Prize celebrates portraiture in Australian art, and the annual exhibition is a highly anticipated and much-lauded occasion on the arts and culture calendar. For 2018, the exhibition forms the basis of a new event – the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ ArchiBall.

Part gala dinner, part art exhibition and part fundraiser, the ArchiBall is set to be one of the most exclusive philanthropic events Australia has ever seen. Taking place within the AGNSW’s Grand Courts, the event is locked in for 30 June and has a guest list capped 250, with invites sent to distinguished members of the business, government and international communities, as well as those within the arts and culture sector.

The ArchiBall is set to be one of the most exclusive philanthropic events Australia has ever seen.

Attendees will be treated to sit-down dinner – with a menu created by Matt Moran – as well as a private viewing of The Archibald Prize exhibition and entertainment from one of the country’s best musical talents, although organisers are staying tight-lipped on who it will be. One lucky guest will also have the opportunity to have their portrait painted by an Archibald finalist.

The event is all part of a bid to shake up the art gallery’s events calendar and raise funds for an important cause – the AGNSW’s youth outreach services.

“We currently have a program for schools in socio-economically depressed parts of greater Sydney and regional NSW that brings students – particularly Year 7s – to the gallery,” John Richardson, AGNSW Director of Development, told the Australian Financial Review.

“We have amazing artist educators who take them on incredible tours through the collection and the prize exhibits. And then we send artist educators back to those schools and communities, to work with their art teachers.”

The ArchiBall will rival Victoria’s major philanthropic gala held last year, which was timed to coincide with the opening of its The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition and raised funds for its fashion and textiles collection.

ArchiBall