The Emerging Artist Award is an annual highlight in our gallery’s program. Each year, emerging artists from around Australia send through entries to the Award, exemplifying innovation and originality across a range of media, from cutting-edge artistic practices to new takes on traditional styles.
The inaugural Award was generously supported by Future Leaders and Emerging Art Australia, and was presented at fortyfivedownstairs in June 2015. Twenty-three artists were selected as finalists for a two-week exhibition in the Large Gallery.
The opening reception was attended by over 300 people; a mixture of existing and new gallery patrons. Esteemed judge and former Newcastle Art Gallery Director Ron Ramsey was tasked with selecting the two submissions that best demonstrated the EAA criteria of originality and innovation. Artist Glen Clancey won the Second Prize of $1000 with his work The Tube, and Prue Stevenson was awarded First Prize of $2000 for her emotive work Without Words 1. Imogen Kotsoglo won the Emerging Art Australia People’s Choice Award for her large-scale drawing work Raze 2.
The Award has now been running for five years. It is a proven catalyst for ongoing recognition and professional development, with many alumni going on to exhibit in solo and group shows across the country and internationally.
At fortyfivedownstairs we showcase independent, experimental and thought-provoking visual art. The Emerging Artist Award is an opportunity to examine developing trends in the contemporary art scene while allowing emerging artists to gain exposure in a professional setting and kick-start their careers.
Here’s hoping we can continue the Award post-covid!