Art Prize

Image: Shevaun Wright, Blackface, 2018, silk screens on Arches paper, Exhibition ‘Apologies’, MARS Gallery

Congratulations to Shevaun Wright who has been selected as a finalist for the John Fries Awards 2020.

The John Fries Award is an annual $10,000 non-acquisitive art prize recognising the talents of early career visual artists.

The winner of the award will be announced on 25 September 2020 at the UNSW Galleries, kicking off a month-long exhibition from 25 September to 21 November.

Since its humble beginnings in 2010, the Award has established itself as a platform for some of the most engaging and experimental works from the next wave of contemporary artists from across Australia and New Zealand.





MARS Gallery is calling all artists to submit proposals for a public street art initiative proudly supported by the City of Stonnington Arts and Culture grant 2020. Clean up our Backyard is a not-for-profit initiative launched by MARS Gallery aiming to improve the street art around its home in Windsor, Melbourne Australia to commission four artists to each receive $10,000 to create a public art work. The unveiling of the project will be used to raise money for Skyline Education Foundation Australia, a charity that aims to facilitate education for talented young people who are financially and / or socially challenged. For this reason, we ask artists to present proposals that address concerns facing young people today.


With the commission MARS hopes to:

  • Improve the environment of an important shared public space
  • Bring people to the area
  • Attract tourists and contribute to the local economy
  • Encourage shopkeepers to take pride in local public areas
  • Create an enduring visual message addressing the issues facing young people across the world today


The chosen artists will also be available for outreach and fundraising events accompanying the project. We hope artists will be able to contribute ideas for engaging the public and raising money for Skyline Education Foundation.


How to apply:

MARS invites artists around the world to submit Expressions of Interest to take over one of four buildings belonging to local businesses. Participating businesses are included in the downloadable pdf document in the link below: 


Submission of Expressions of Interest is free. Artists must submit a written proposal by 10 November 2019 to Proposals must include the following: 

  • An artist statement detailing the ideas of the project, bio and/or CV.
  • Project details including intended materials, size and how the project addresses the intensions of the commission (see bullet points above).
  • Visual mock-up of their work.
  • Examples of previous work (3 – 10 images).
  • Indication of a preferred area/ buildings of interest and reason for selection. See Information Pack (PDF document) in the link below. 
  • Preferred contact details

A panel of judges will select and announce the four successful artists by 22 November 2019

Each successful artist will receive $10,000 to realise the project and once completed, UV anti-graffiti finish will be applied to ensure the longevity of the works. Painting will commence on Tuesday 10 March 2020 with a maximum of 4 weeks realisation time. MARS will be happy to help artists find accommodation in Melbourne for the duration of the installation. 

There will be a launch event and fundraiser for Skyline Education Foundation Australia on Saturday 4 April 2020.


Clean up our Backyard Application Q&A:

Thursday 10 October from 11 am  


Additional project documents:

Clean up our Backyard Artists Brief (PDF DOWNLOAD) 

Information Pack (PDF Download)


Image: Sophia Hewson, Untitled (cheers), 2019, oil on board, 93 x 124 cm

Congratulations to Sophia Hewson who has been shortlisted as a finalist for the R & M McGivern Prize 2019 with Untitled (cheers)

The R & M McGivern Prize is an acquisitive award and aims to promote artistic excellence in painting and build a high quality collection for the Maroondah region. The exhibition of finalists will be held across two venues, ArtSpace at Realm and Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery, Ringwood from 23 November 2019 to 2 February 2020.


Congratulations to Tricky Walsh who has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Guirguis New Art Prize. 

The Guirguis New Art Prize is a national, acquisitive, biennial, contemporary art prize exhibition in Ballarat, Victoria. 

Walsh is exhibiting a “Field kit” version of their installation “The Anakatascope” recently shown in Chengdu, China as part of the Centre Pompidou exhibition “Cosmopolis 1.5” It is comprised of an interconnected series of sculptural pieces and a gouache on paper triptych.

Tricky Walsh will also present alongside Mich Meijers at The National 2019: New Ausralian Art.  The collaboration includes a new installation work entitled The Crocker Land Expedition, a sculptural work with kinetic and sound elements. The work can be viewed at Carriageworks Sydney from 29 March – 21 July 2019.