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Nearly a thousand entries have flooded into this year’s 7th annual John Fries Award from artists all over Australia and New Zealand, a 25% increase on last year. The Award attracted 985 entries from emerging and early career artists across multiple disciplines and locations, from a mixed-media Maori artist from Mangakakai, New Zealand to a painter from the Fitzroy Crossing in the top end of Western Australia. The strongest growth by state was from the ACT, increasing by 37.5% on last

Some of the most highly-regarded professionals in the contemporary arts industry have today been announced as judges for the 7th annual John Fries Award. For the second consecutive year, Sydney-based artist, academic Oliver Watts will curate the 2016 John Fries Award Finalist Exhibition. He will be joined on the judging panel by Curator of Exhibitions and Australian Projects at the Australian Centre for Photography, Mark Feary, contemporary Aboriginal artist Tony Albert, and multi-disciplinary artist Bianca Hester. Long-term judge and daughter of the late John

Ben Ward at work. Photo courtesy Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre. With the first-ever win by an Aboriginal artist – 65-year-old Ben Ward from WA - of the $10,000 John Fries Award last year, the organisers are keen to receive even more entries from Indigenous Australian and New Zealand artists for the 2016 award, which has just opened for entries. Artists need to submit five images of recent work to enter the competition, which is run annually by artists’ rights organisation, the Copyright

Emerging and early-career artists from around Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to submit five images of recent work to be consider for the $10,000 John Fries Award. Dates The Call for Entries for the John Fries Award 2016 opened at 8am AEDT on 11 January and will close at 12 noon AEDT on 22 February 2016. Entry Requirements 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. Artworks

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