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High Calibre Judges Partner with Emerging Art Award

Justin Paton

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, 19 February 2015.

Curator Oliver Watts said this year’s selection of judges adds significant weight to the prestige of the $10,000 award.

“I’m really excited about working with the judges. We have brought together a group that is so diverse in experience but all well connected to what is at the edge of contemporary arts right now,” he said.

“Justin has an exciting take on contemporary art. His recent rehang of the Asian wing of the Art Gallery of New South Wales brought new and old together in an engaging and thought-provoking way. He’s also very knowledgeable and generous in his approach to art and educating.

“Nell is also an incredibly vital artist. She somehow manages to fuse the intensity of a rock God with the transcendental qualities of a Buddhist monk. Nell is deeply embedded in the contemporary art scene and brings a great deal of knowledge and passion to her decision-making.

“Together as a panel, we want to see some exciting artworks that push boundaries, encourage the exploration of new ideas and that really blur the edges of defining contemporary art.

“This award is about providing a platform for emerging artists to develop and refine their craft, provide valuable experiences that will help them grow as an early career artist, as well as providing the chance to break into the competitive emerging art scene,” he said.

Watch the video to find out more about the kind of things Oliver is looking for in the Call for Entries to the John Fries Award 2015.

All finalists’ entries will feature in a month-long exhibition at UNSW Galleries at UNSW Art & Design – the award’s presenting partner for the second year running. This continued partnership outlines both Copyright Agency | Viscopy and UNSW Art & Design’s desire to build a professional and resilient creative economy by recognising outstanding talent in the emerging arts sector.

Viscopy will pay all finalists an artist fee at NAVA recommended rates and will also assist with freight costs to support artists from interstate and New Zealand.

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.

Read the Judges Profiles here.

About Copyright Agency | Viscopy

Viscopy was set up by artists for artists in 1995. Today, Copyright Agency | Viscopy advocates for artists’ copyright and provides services that ensure artists are fairly rewarded for the reproduction of their work by issuing licenses and collecting fees on their behalf. In doing so, we aim to help build a more resilient creative economy where new artistic expression is valued and artists are acknowledged and financially rewarded for their work.


For interview opportunities or high resolution images of the judges, please contact:

Jenelle Dellar
Copyright Agency | Viscopy

T: 02 9394 7688

Download the print friendly PDF version.