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John Fries Award finalists announced

Copyright Agency | Viscopy has named 24 finalists for this year’s $10,000 John Fries Award for emerging artists.

The 5th John Fries Award will be announced on Tuesday 12 August at the award’s venue partner Galleries UNSW, COFA in Paddington, Sydney.

The award’s guest curator and judge, Sebastian Goldspink, said “The calibre of entries for this year’s awards set a new standard. I was surprised, delighted and slightly overwhelmed by the prospect of whittling down the record 546 entries to a shortlist of 88, and then, with my fellow judges, to the 24 finalists. There was a genuine sense of excitement in the judging room.”

The finalists come from all over Australia and New Zealand, with three Aboriginal artists represented. Works include painting, sculpture, installation, video and a live performance work.

“The John Fries always delivers something unexpected,” says Goldspink. “The artists display extraordinary imagination and take risks and I know everyone will be keenly watching and waiting for this year’s exhibition at Galleries NSW, COFA. It's a fantastic celebration of the strength and diversity of Australasian emerging art!”

The 2014 John Fries Award finalists are: Abdul Abdullah, Justin Balmain, Ella Barclay, Tim Bruniges, Julian Day, Omar Chowdhury, George Egerton-Warburton, Marc Etherington, Hamishi Farah, Heath Franco, Samuel Hodge, Anna Horne, Juz Kitson, Anna Kristensen, Bridie Lunney, Daniel McKewen, Beryline Mung, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Alair Pambegan, Kate Scardifield, Marilyn Schneider, Jacqui Shelton, Jason Wing and Kentaro Yamada.

The prize was established 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 the organisation.

Judges for the 2014 award are: Sebastian Goldspink, Alexie Glass-Kantor, Jess Olivieri, Kath Fries and Megan Cope. The award’s 2014 sponsors include: International Art Services, 10 group, Little Creatures Brewery and Small Acres Cyder.