Call for Entries Open to 8th Annual John Fries Award

January 17, 2017

Entries have opened for the 8th annual John Fries Award for early-career artists from Australia and New Zealand, which provides $10,000 in prize money for the winning artist and $1,000 for each award finalist participating in the exhibition.

The non-acquisitive award has established itself as one of the most highly coveted prizes for early-career artists working in any medium – from painting to conceptual art, performance to photography.

2017 John Fries Award curator and judge, Consuelo Cavaniglia, says the Award places early-career artists in the spotlight, supporting the advancement of their career and promoting a wide variety of artistic practices.

“The John Fries Award showcases the work of some of the most exciting and experimental work in contemporary art across Australia and New Zealand and I’m eager to see the scope and calibre of the work of this year’s entrants.”

“This award is a unique opportunity to connect with the next generation of artistic talent and for audiences to experience new and experimental artworks” says Consuelo.

“The $1,000 artist fee for all finalists acknowledges the effort that comes with producing works of a high standard and encourages the development of more ambitious artwork.”

The judging panel for this year’s award is: Melanie Oliver – Senior Curator and Programs Manager at The Dowse Art Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, Clothilde Bullen – Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Fiona Lowry – Artist and 2014 Archibald prize winner for her painting of Penelope Seidler and artist Kath Fries – Viscopy board member, Chair of the John Fries Award committee and daughter of the late John Fries.

The winner will be announced at a gala exhibition opening on 10 August. The exhibition will run from 11 August to 2 September at UNSW Galleries in Sydney, the award’s presenting partner for the fourth year running.

The award’s prize money has been donated by the Fries family in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of Viscopy.


Entries will be accepted from now until 5pm (AEDT) on Monday, 27 February 2017. Entry to the award costs $35 AUD. The entry fee is directly used to support the Finalists’ artists’ fees.

Entrants are required to submit a portfolio of five works created over the past three years, which demonstrate their commitment to developing their artistic practice.

Artists can enter via


Call for Entries Open 16 January 2017
Call for Entries Closes 27 February 2017
Announcement of Finalists 7 April 2017
Winner Announcement and Opening Event 10 August 2017
Exhibition Opens 11 August 2017
Exhibition Closes 2 September 2017


All finalists works will feature in an exhibition from 11 August – 2 September at UNSW Galleries – the Award’s presenting partner for the fourth year running.

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