New panel of esteemed judges join Footscray Art Prize

In June 2019 we will be staging the second iteration of the Footscray Art Prize. The inaugural Footscray Art Prize, held in 2017, was a raging success, with over 800 entrants being whittled down to five incredible first-up winners. These winning artists – Mumu Mike Williams, Heesco, Mohsen Meysami, Jaina Zheng and Cathy Tran – were exhibited along with other shortlisted artists at VU at Metrowest, Footscray Community Arts Centre and, in Heesco’s case, Victoria University’s Nicholson Campus. They also shared $17,500 prize money.

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We’re nearing the opening date for entries to the 2019 Prize – Friday the 23rd of November – and the time has come to announce our new team of esteemed judges.

Hannah Presley, an Aboriginal curator based in Melbourne, is the inaugural curator for the Yalingwa program at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Presley was also the First Nations Curatorial Assistant for Tracey Moffatt’s My Horizon exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and has undertaken various curatorial projects at the ACCA and West Space.

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Born in Cairo, Raafat Ishak has lived and practised in Melbourne for over three decades. His works across painting, installation and site-specific drawing are often informed by architecture and his Arabic heritage. Ishak has exhibited at art spaces in Australia such as Sutton Gallery, the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, as well as overseas at the Barjeel Art Foundation (UAE/Paris) and the Institute du Monde Arabe (Paris). 

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Katrina Sedgwick has been the Director and CEO of ACMI since 2015, prior to which she was the Head of Arts for ABC TV and ABC Arts Online, as well as the founding Director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival. Her extensive career in arts administration also includes co-founding the Sydney Fringe Festival in 1995 and Special Events Producer for the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

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Returning to once again judge the Young Artists category is Simon Spain. Spain is the Founding Director of ArtPlay and Signal, has provided international research to Tate and Playeum and was a member of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board. In May 2018, Spain was appointed as the chairperson of the Regional Arts Australia Board of Directors, on which he has sat since 2017. Spain chose a painting and sculpture as the winners of the 2017 Young Artists category, reflecting his diverse artistic knowledge and tastes.

The 2019 Footscray Art Prize affords artists the opportunity to be a part of this growing cultural sensation, to have their work exhibited and considered by our venerated judges, and to share in a prize pool of $17,500. Entries are open to Australian-based artists of all levels, across the following categories; Footscray Art Prize (Main) ($10,000); Street Art Prize ($5,000); Tertiary Prize ($1,500, Open to Australian University and Art College students enrolled at the time of entering the Prize); Young Artist Prize ($500 for Primary and Secondary respectively, Open to primary and secondary school students in Melbourne’s west). 

Entries open on Friday the 23rd of November, so we urge you to start preparing your entries as soon as possible!