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John Fries Award 2018

This grant round has now closed. Submissions closed at 5:00PM 19 February 2018 (AEDT).


The John Fries Award 2018 for early career artists is a non-acquisitive award of $10,000 with all finalists receiving an artist’s fee of $1000 each. It is an exciting opportunity for artists working in all media from painting to conceptual art, from performance to photography, and aims to encompass the multiplicity of contemporary practice.

This annual Award has been generously donated 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 Viscopy.

Since mid-2012, the Award has been managed by Copyright Agency. The John Fries Award 2018 will be presented at the UNSW Galleries in Paddington, Sydney as part of our partnership with UNSW Art and Design.


Copyright Agency

Copyright Agency advocates for artists' copyright and provides services that ensure artists are fairly rewarded for the reproduction of their work by issuing licences and collecting fees on their members’ behalf.  In doing so, we aim to help build a more resilient creative economy where new artistic expression is valued and artists are acknowledged and financially rewarded for their work.

Membership is free




Entry is open to artists of all ages and disciplines (members and non-members of Copyright Agency) who:

  • Are Australian or New Zealand citizens or who are resident in Australia or New Zealand
  • Identify as an emerging or early career artist


Entry requirements

Artists are required to submit a portfolio of five works created over the past three years which demonstrate a current commitment to developing a professional artistic practice.

Entries must include an artist CV and artist's statement as specified in the entry form.

Assessment of the portfolio, CV and artists statement form the basis for the initial round of judging and selection of finalists. Selected finalists will work with the curator to identify and/or develop suitable work for the exhibition.

Artworks may be created in any medium, including but not limited to: sculpture, performance, new media, photography, painting, drawing, installation, ceramics, object based, hybrid practices, sound based and conceptual works.

Entries submitted without the completed entry form or not presented in the prescribed file format will not be considered. No other support material may be included.


To enter

Submissions must be made via the online entry form.

All applicants must submit their portfolio in a PowerPoint presentation with a title page stating the artist's name and five subsequent pages each presenting a single a work with full attribution.

For artist's submitting works with moving image each page must contain a still from the work and a hyperlink to the work online.


Entry fee

A $35 entry fee is applicable to all applicants. The entry fee is used to support the John Fries Award Finalists.

Fees are payable by Electronic Funds Transfer:

Electronic FundsTransfers (EFT)

Account name: Copyright Agency

BSB: 062203

Account: 00211106

Please write 'JFA -[Your Full Name]' in the payment description.

Alternatively, you can also pay by credit card using our secure link at:

Please write ‘JFA’ against Invoice Number and your full name under Customer Name.


Closing date

Entries must reach Copyright Agency by 5pm AEDT on Monday 19 February 2018.


Selection of finalists

The curator will select approximately 40 semi-finalists from which the Judging Panel will select the finalists for the John Fries Award 2018 Finalists’ Exhibition.

The John Fries Award 2018 judges include Kath Fries (Artist), Consuelo Cavaniglia (Guest Curator JFA 2017-18), Shannon Te Ao (Artist), Sophia Kouyoumdjian (Coordinator Parramatta Artist Studios and Curator) and Mikala Tai (Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art).

All entrants will be notified by email by 30 March 2018 whether their submission has been selected for exhibition.

The finalists’ work will be exhibited at the John Fries Award 2018 Finalists’ Exhibition at Galleries UNSW, from the 29 September – 3 November 2018.

All decisions by the judging panel are final and no correspondence will be entered into.


Announcement of Award winner

The winner of the John Fries Award 2018 will be announced at the opening of the Finalists’ Exhibition on the 28 September 2018.

The winner will receive a cash Award of $10,000.


Copyright Agency will provide all Finalists with:

  • $1000 artist’s fee for participating in the exhibition.
  • A copyright licensing fee covering the reproduction of artworks in the exhibition catalogue, online and for the purposes of promoting the John Fries Award. Please note copyright remains with the artist.


Finalists will be responsible for:

  • The delivery of their work to UNSW Galleries on the 19 September 2018 and ready for install.
  • Insurance of their artwork.
  • Artists with specific installation requirements must be available to install their work between 19 – 25 November 2018.
  • The work must be available for the entire exhibition period.
  • All artwork entered is to be the work of the artist and must have acquired all copyright clearances and other permissions necessary for the creation, promotion and exhibition of the work.
  • If the artwork requires technical equipment (like monitors or projectors) the artist must discuss this with the curator prior to the installation period. Artists may be required to supply their own equipment.


Copyright Notice

Copyright Agency and the John Fries Award proudly support creators of copyrighted content in Australia and New Zealand. If your work incorporates material (such as songs or music, still or moving images, logos or text) created by a 3rd party we encourage you to speak with us about your submission.

Works that incorporate 3rd party material will not be selected for the finalist exhibition unless they

  • Meet the exceptions under ‘fair dealing’ in the Copyright Act
  • Have been granted permission from the copyright holder

If you would like clarification on whether your work meets these guidelines please feel free to contact Tristan Chant our Visual Artist Manager on 02 9394 7614 or


Important Dates to Remember

19 February

Entries must reach Copyright Agency by 5pm AEST

30 March

Finalists notified

19 September

Finalists work to be delivered to: UNSW Galleries, Cnr Oxford Street and Greens Rd, Paddington, Sydney NSW 2021

28 September

Award Winner announced at exhibition opening, UNSW Galleries

29 September – 3 November

John Fries Award 2018 Finalists’ Exhibition, UNSW Galleries

4 – 5 November

Removal of works from UNSW Galleries