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Author: Jenelle Dellar

Remote West Australian artist Ben Ward is the first Aboriginal artist, and the first Western Australian, to take out the $10,000 Copyright Agency | Viscopy John Fries Award for emerging artists for his painting Our Country. Despite picking up a paintbrush just four years ago, 65-year-old Ward has developed a distinctive painting style: using brightly coloured tessellating triangles to depict his local Miriwoong country. He paints almost daily at the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre in Kununurra. At 2.4 metres wide, Our Country is the largest in a

Finalists are now busy creating new works for the 6th annual John Fries Award exhibition, A Jester’s Whisper, which will open in early September. This year the awards were structured to give more time for artists to develop their artworks specifically for the John Fries Award and Exhibition, which carries a $10,000 prize for the winner. Watts says it is this aspect of the award that makes it unique compared to other contemporary art prizes. “Since its inception in 2010, the Curator of

More emerging artists from New Zealand entered the sixth annual John Fries Award than ever before, showing signs that the country’s burgeoning talent is engaging more strongly with the Award. The number of entries from New Zealand rose 166% from the previous year, and represented almost 10% of the total number of entries, which at 730 entries, rivals the same number received to the prestigious Archibald Prize. Kenneth Merrick and Darcell Apelu are the two New Zealand artists among the top 15

Fifteen emerging artists have today been announced as finalists to the John Fries Award 2015, one of Australia and New Zealand’s most coveted awards for emerging contemporary artists. The finalists are from all over Australia, with two New Zealand and three Indigenous artists represented. Works include painting, sculpture, installation, video and live performance. The finalists are: Erin Coates (WA) Georgie Roxby Smith (Vic) Eloise Kirk (Tas) Kenneth Merrick (NZ) Kelly Doley (NSW) Archie Moore (Qld) Tim Bruniges (NSW) Tully Arnot (NSW) Darcell Apelu (NZ) Ben Ward (WA) Giselle Stanborough (NSW) Leo Coyte (NSW) Will French

Emerging Aboriginal artist and past John Fries Award finalist, Serena Bonson, successfully opened her first solo show at ALASKA Projects last month, selling two pieces to the Australian Government’s Artbank collection. Wangarra is a collection of hand-carved figures that capture the story of the Wangarra spirit as told by her uncle Jimmy Angunguna, who also taught her the craft. Serena says her first solo exhibition was even more important as her uncle is in respite and she wants to continue sharing his story. Serena

More than 700 emerging artists entered the John Fries Award this year, the highest number ever received in its six-year history. The award attracted entries from early career artists across diverse disciplines and locations, from Aboriginal artists in remote and regional art centres in the Northern Territory, to experimental artists in cities and major towns across Australia.  The number of artists from New Zealand also grew by 188 per cent from last year. "It's really incredible to see interest in the John Fries Award grow

Organisers of the 6th annual John Fries Award are reaching out to emerging Indigenous artists across Australia and New Zealand to enter a portfolio of their contemporary work for an opportunity to build their experience as an early-career artist. This year, the entry calls for 5-10 images that demonstrate the artist’s developing practice in their chosen discipline over the past three years. The selected finalists will be encouraged to work with the curator to select, modify or develop a work for

Some of the most highly-regarded professionals in the contemporary arts scene have been confirmed as judges for the 6th annual John Fries Award. This year’s new curator, Oliver Watts is joined by New Zealand-born curator and acclaimed arts writer, Justin Paton  and exciting cross-disciplinary artist, Nell. Long-term judge, accomplished installation artist and daughter of the late John Fries, Kath Fries will continue on the panel in 2015. Entries into the John Fries Award opened last week and will close at 12 noon on Thursday,

Sydney curator, artist, writer and lecturer Oliver Watts has been named the John Fries Award’s Guest Curator for 2015. Oliver Watts currently lectures at the Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney where he graduated with PHD in Art History and Theory.  He is the co-director at the Chalk Horse Gallery in Darlinghurst, has curated numerous exhibitions and is an accomplished mixed-media artist in his own right. As a critic, his writing has been published in various art

Image: Juz Kitson, Changing Skin, 2013 © Juz Kitson/Licensed by Viscopy. Juz Kitson is represented by GAG projects and Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide. Applications for the John Fries Award 2015 will open 12 January and close 19 February. In previous years, the John Fries Award Call for Entries has closed in early May. This year, we’re running the entry process earlier to allow additional time for the selected finalists to work with the guest curator to identify and/or develop suitable work for the