John Fries Award Opens January 2018

December 14, 2017

Applications for the annual John Fries Award 2018 will open on 15 January.

The John Fries Award is an annual $10,000 art award recognising the talents of early career visual artists from across Australia and New Zealand.

The 2017 John Fries Award attracted the largest audience in its history, with more than 1,000 people attending opening night and more than double the number of people coming to see the finalist exhibition at UNSW Galleries in Paddington, Sydney.

Each year, hundreds of entries from across Australia and New Zealand flood in for the award, and it attracts some of the most experimental work across genres than any other in its class.

Previous winners include Kuba Dorabialski, Eric Demetriou, Ben Ward, Bridie Lunney, Jess Olivieri and Hayley Forward, Jacob Leary, Sanne Mestrom and Hannah Bertram. Previous curators have included Oliver Watts, Sebastian Goldspink, Venita Poblocki and Andrew Leslie.

In 2018, the award will be curated by interdisciplinary artist, academic and curator, Consuelo Cavaniglia.

The award was established by the Fries family in 2010 in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of the organisation.  After a successful five year partnership agreement, Viscopy merged with Copyright Agency on 30 November 2017.


Entry to this annual award will be open to artists of all ages and disciplines who identify as early career artists, and are citizens or residents of Australia or New Zealand. Artists are required to submit a portfolio of five works created over the past three years which demonstrate a current commitment to developing a professional artistic practice.

The award winner receives $10,000 and the award is non-acquisitive.

Artists working in all mediums are welcome to apply; including but not limited to sculpture, performance, new media, photography, painting, drawing, installation, ceramic, object based, hybrid practices, sound based and conceptual works.

Key dates for the John Fries Award 2018 are now available. Entries can be submitted from 9am AEDT on Monday, 15 January 2018 and close 5pm AEDT Monday, 19 February 2018.