Jo Palaitis

Jo (Josonia) Palaitis has been painting professionally since graduating from National Art School, Sydney in 1972 and is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading portrait painters. As well as portraits she has painted landscape, still-life, abstract and imaginative works.

In 1994 Jo was awarded the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize ($100,000) for a portrait of her father and her portrait of renowned Australian cartoonist Bill Leak won the 1995 Archibald People’s Choice Award.

In 2000 The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, commissioned Palaitis to paint a double portrait of the Prime Minister and his wife.  Her portrait of Prime Minister John Howard and Janette Howard shows the couple standing informally in the gardens of Kirribilli House, Sydney. Other prominent  Australians who have sat for portrait paintings by Jo Palaitis include musician James Morrision, author Thomas Keneally, television presenter Ray Martin, His Eminence Cardinal Edward Clancy, Patrick Dobson - "the Father of Aboriginal Reconciliation" and Justice Michael Kirby.

Amongst many other awards and accolades, in 2002 Palaitis was awarded the Childers Memorial Portrait Commission.  This large emotive painting celebrates the lives of 15 young international backpackers who perished in a hostel fire in rural Queensland.  It was unveiled to universal acclaim in 2002 and remains on permanent display at Childers, Queensland.

Her work features in the collections of The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; the National Library of Australia, Canberra; the Supreme Court of NSW, Sydney and is tightly held in private collections around the world.

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