Footscray Art Prize is back after successful inaugural year

The esteemed Footscray Art Prize is now open for entries, giving artists from across Australia the opportunity to showcase their art in the thriving creative hub of Footscray in Melbourne’s inner west, and share in $17,500 worth of prizes. 

Victoria University has had a strong connection with Footscray for more than a century. Today, we work with our local community to contribute to Footscray’s vibrant and growing arts, cultural and creative industries as part of Footscray University Town. A key initiative is the biennial Footscray Art Prize, proudly sponsored by VU. The inaugural Footscray Art Prize celebrated the richness of Footscray on a national platform. I was particularly pleased with the interest in the Tertiary and Young Artists Prizes, which resulted in an incredibly diverse exhibition that showcased the next generation of Australian artists. The 2019 Prize promises to be even more exciting and I look forward to working with our partners to continue its development into one of Australia’s most sought after Art Prizes. 

Peter Dawkins AO, Vice-Chancellor Victoria University

After receiving over 800 entries for the inaugural prize in 2017, the 2019 Footscray Art Prize is expected to attract a large number of high calibre submissions across its four categories. 

The main prize is valued $10,000, while the Street Art Prize is valued at $5,000 and pays tribute to the inner west’s thriving street art scene and gives the winning artist the opportunity to bring their work to life on a prominent wall in Footscray. 

Footscray is a thriving creative hub, and is developing an enviable reputation as a centre of arts and culture. This was reflected in the large number of entries we received for the inaugural Footscray Art Prize in 2017. The Art Prize is another opportunity to celebrate the artistic vibrancy and creativity of Footscray. We are looking forward to hosting the work of talented artists from across Australia here in Footscray once again! 

Cr Martin Zakharov, Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong

On top of this, the next generation of Australian artists will have a chance to showcase their work with the Tertiary Art Prize, valued at $1,500, which is open to Australians studying at a tertiary education institution; and the Young Artists Prize, featuring two categories each valued at $500, will encourage primary and secondary students in Melbourne’s west to explore their creativity. 

The Footscray Art Prize is this wonderfully curated visual sensation of experiences, ideas, memories and moments expressed by artists from all over the country, set within this historic, curious and adventurous town. 

Martin Paten, Director and CEO at Footscray Community Arts Centre 

The 2019 Footscray Art Prize will be judged by a panel of experts, including: 

  • Katrina Sedgwick, Director and CEO – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) 

  • Hanna Presley, Curator – Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA) 

  • Raafat Ishak, Artist and Head of Painting – Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) 

  • Simon Spain, Founding Director – Art Play (Young Artists category) 

Entries close on 15 March 2019 and are open to all Australian residents, with no restrictions on visual art media. Winners will be announced in June, with a shortlist available in late April. 

Shortlisted works will be on display at a Footscray Art Prize exhibition, which will be held at Footscray Community Arts Centre (Main and Street Art Prizes), and VU at MetroWest (Tertiary and Young Artists Prize). 

Footscray Rotary is excited to be involved in the Footscray Art Prize. This biennial prize shares with all of Australia that Footscray has a wonderful multicultural community that is creative, and innovative as well as being a great place to live and study. The Young Artists and Tertiary sections in particular, are an inspiring addition to the opportunities available to the young people who live and attend the schools and universities in the western suburbs. Footscray Rotary has contributed to the Footscray community for over 80 years and is honoured to again be a partner and sponsor in the Footscray Art Prize. 

Suzanne Zammit, President of Footscray Rotary

The biennial prize 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. 

Entries are now open and can be submitted online. 

For more information, visit