John Fries Award

Eric Demetriou has been announced as the winner of the John Fries Award 2016

Eric was selected by the judges from fourteen finalists have been named from nearly one thousand entries for this year’s leading art award for emerging contemporary artists, the John Fries (pronounced “Frees”) Award 2016.

Read Announcement here.

The finalists are dominated by five Victorian artists with a spread from New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, as well as a New Zealander and a Sydneysider on a fellowship in New York.

View finalists’ gallery

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Important Dates

22 February Entries must reach Copyright Agency | Viscopy by 5pm AEST
26 March Finalists notified by email
15 August Finalists work for exhibition to be completed delivered to UNSW Galleries
18 August Opening night and winner announcement, UNSW Galleries
19 August – 1 October John Fries Award 2016 Finalists’ Exhibition, UNSW Galleries


The Curator

Sydney curator, artist, writer and lecturer Oliver Watts will continue as the John Fries Award’s Guest Curator for 2016.

The Presenting Partner

All finalists works will feature in an exhibition from 19 August – 1 October at UNSW Galleries – the award’s presenting partner for the third year running.

The Catalogue

The John Fries Award  is an annual non-acquisitive award of $10,000 recognising emerging and early career visual artists. Since its start in 2010, it has become a platform for some of the most engaging and experimental works from emerging artists across Australia and New Zealand.

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.

“The prize has gone from strength to strength each year with many previous winners and finalists continuing to achieve other significant milestones in their careers. The Exhibition offers a glimpse of what’s occurring at the dynamic ‘emerging’ edge of the contemporary art scene, and heightens our expectations of the future.”

Kath Fries, Viscopy director, John Fries Award judge and daughter of the late John Fries