Ibis Sydney Barangaroo has become the new home for the exhibition of finalists in Australia’s premier satirical art competition, the Bald Archy Prize.

As chief sponsor, Ibis Sydney Barangaroo Owner Dr Jerry Schwartz offered the hotel as an alternate venue to the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour following the recent introduction of a spa on the premises.

The Museum of the Riverina, which now runs the competition, has transformed the hotel’s public spaces into a mini art gallery with 22 portraits of famous and infamous personalities including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and former PM, Scott Morrison, George Pell, Rupert Murdoch, Ash Barty, and many more.

“Hotels – like art – need to change with the times. Gone are the days when hotel lobbies were like mausoleums, all marble and empty,” said Dr Schwartz.

“We want to bring people and life back into hotels, make them energetic public spaces, and part of the community. This exhibition has already attracted lots of Sydneysiders to the hotel, and our corporate and leisure guests also love the buzz it has created.”

Bald Archy convenor Luke Grealy with 2023 winner Marty Steel and sponsor Dr Jerry Schwartz

Brisbane artist, Marty Steel, took home the top prize of $10,000 from Dr Schwartz for his portrait of Bald Archy Prize founder, the late Peter Batey OAM.

“Peter hated the ‘stuffiness’ of the traditional art scene,” said Dr Schwartz.

“He wanted people to enjoy art in convivial surroundings, have a drink and a laugh – and that’s precisely what we have done with the venue at Ibis Sydney Barangaroo.

The exhibition will be at the Ibis Sydney until April 14 before touring major regional centres around NSW, including a stop at Rydges hotel in Newcastle.