Footscray Art Prize offers Australian artists $17,500 in prizes and a rare avenue to showcase their work

Footscray Art Prize | 15-Dec-2016
The inaugural Footscray Art Prize gives artists from across the country an exciting opportunity to bring their art to life in the vibrant arts community of central Footscray in Melbourne's inner west, and share in $17,500 worth of prizes. With a $10,000 cash prize for the overall winner, the Footscray Art Prize is expected to draw a large number of high calibre submissions across its categories which include Street Art, Tertiary Art and Young Artist Prizes. Entries close on Friday 3 March 2017.
Street art in Footscray, Image Courtesy of Maribyrnong City Council
The inaugural Footscray Art Prize gives artists from across the country an exciting opportunity to bring their art to life in the vibrant arts community of central Footscray in Melbourne's inner west, and share in $17,500 worth of prizes.

With a $10,000 cash prize for the overall winner, the Footscray Art Prize is expected to draw a large number of high calibre submissions across its categories which include Street Art, Tertiary Art and Young Artist Prizes.

Honouring Footscray's contribution to Melbourne's thriving street art scene, the Street Art Prize includes $5,000 in cash and a rare opportunity for artists to bring their art to life on a prominent wall in central Footscray.

There are also several categories designed to showcase the work of the next generation of Australian artists including the Tertiary Art Prize, valued at $1,500, which is open to Australian university and art college students. Two Young Artist Prizes, valued at $500 each, are open to young people in Melbourne's west to encourage them to continue to explore their creativity and be part of the cultural identity of Footscray.

Entries, which close on Friday 3 March 2017, are welcome from all Australian resident artists with no restrictions on media, and can be submitted at vu.edu.au/footscray-university-town/footscray-art-prize. Winners will be announced in May 2017 with a shortlist available in late March.

The Footscray Art Prize will be judged by a panel of experts including:
  • Jason Smith, Director of Geelong Gallery, one of Australia's oldest and most important regional galleries
  • Beverly Knight, Founding Director of Alcaston Gallery who has helped establish and foster the successful careers of many celebrated artists
  • Reko Rennie, a Footscray-born interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary media
  • Richard Ennis, Curator of the Exhibition Program at the Incinerator Gallery who has spent more than 15 years working in all facets of the arts industry
  • Simon Spain, an artist and former creative producer of Art Play who will be judging the Young Artists Prizes.
The Footscray Art Prize, which will be awarded every second year, is a unique collaboration between Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Rotary Club of Footscray, who share a commitment to demonstrating and promoting creativity, cultural achievements and the arts.

This new art prize provides an opportunity to celebrate the artistic vibrancy and creativity of Footscray which has been heavily influenced by a rich industrial heritage and diverse multicultural community. It will also further enhance Footscray's reputation as a thriving cultural hub that supports and fosters the arts and creative industries.

"Footscray is developing an enviable reputation as a centre of arts and culture, and we believe there will be a fantastic response to the Footscray Art Prize from artists across Australia," Councillor Catherine Cumming, the Mayor of Maribyrnong City Council said.

The Prize was developed as a legacy of Victoria University's Centenary in 2016, when it celebrated 100 years as an education provider in Footscray. Victoria University is also committed to building Footscray as a university town.

"One hundred years after VU's predecessor institution, the Footscray Technical School, was established, we are still committed to providing first class education to the Footscray community. The Footscray Art Prize is a legacy of our Centenary celebrations and acknowledges the talents, vibrancy, and creativity of our local artists," Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice Chancellor and President Victoria University said.

Jade Lillie, Director and CEO at Footscray Community Arts Centre said: "The inaugural Footscray Art Prize is a celebration of contemporary art making, attracting artists from all over the country to our exciting, dynamic and progressive town."

Excited about supporting the next generation of artists, Elia Andriotis, President Elect Footscray Rotary added: "The inaugural Footscray Art Prize celebrates the vitality of the arts in Footscray, and encourages and engages our younger generations to be involved through the youth, tertiary or street art categories."

Winning works will be exhibited in the Footscray Art Prize exhibition, which will be held at four locations throughout Footscray: Footscray Community Arts Centre (Main Prize), VU at MetroWest (Tertiary Prize), Bluestone Church Arts Space (Young Artists Prizes) and various street locations in central Footscray (Street Art Prize).

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