ANNOUNCEMENT |  2017 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship Finalists

Image, from left: 2017 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship Finalists with Artspace and Create NSW staff, Create NSW Senior Manager Sector Investment (Arts) Sam Wild, Artspace Deputy Director Michelle Newton and Front of House Coordinator and Curatorial Assistant Lola Pinder, artists Ashleigh Garwood, Louise Zhang, Jason Phu and Emily Parsons-Lord, Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor, Fernando do Campo, Spence Messih, Emma Fielden, Shan Turner-Carroll, Claudia Nicholson, Artspace Curator Talia Linz and Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey. Photo: Maja Baska


Artspace and Create NSW are pleased to announce the nine finalists for the 2017 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship (NSWVAEF): Fernando do Campo, Emma Fielden, Ashleigh Garwood, Spence Messih, Claudia Nicholson, Emily Parsons-Lord, Jason Phu, Shan Turner-Carroll and Louise Zhang.


Valued at $30,000, this Fellowship is offered by the NSW Government through Create NSW to enable a visual artist at the beginning of their career to undertake a self-directed program of professional development. With a 100-year history, the Fellowship is a key exhibition for profiling the dynamism and breadth of emerging contemporary artistic practice in NSW. Now in its 21st year at Artspace, it continues to define new generations of contemporary art practice for both artists and audiences.


Each year Create NSW convenes an independent judging panel of esteemed colleagues to determine the finalists, whom Artspace acknowledges for engaging with insight and passion in assessing what was again a highly competitive round of proposals.


Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the Fellowship opportunity demonstrates the importance of new talent in creating a thriving arts and cultural sector:


“It is extremely satisfying to see  a wide range of diversity across this year’s shortlisted emerging NSW artists, and promoting their work is a huge focus for us as we build an ever-improving reputation for arts and cultural excellence across the state.


“As well as recognising one eventual individual who will be awarded the Fellowship, the shortlist exhibition is a fantastic platform for new artists to display their work and gain public exposure and recognition. I am very excited about the future of the whole group”.


Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey, who was present at Artspace to meet and congratulate the shortlist, said that he was impressed with the calibre showcased by the group.


“Hats off to our shortlist as the competition each year is extremely high. The group is a great example of the most promising visual arts talent from across regional NSW, Western Sydney and our metro area, and we look forward to supporting their professional development with the exhibition in November as well as with our Fellowship opportunity.”


Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor affirms the Fellowship’s status as New South Wales’ most highly anticipated award for emerging artists, supported by dedicated curatorial engagement and development.


“As well as being an important award and profile of the diversity of artists in NSW, Artspace and Create NSW have collaborated for a number of years to ensure the Fellowship is a valuable professional development opportunity for emerging artists, supported by curatorial advocacy and engagement. 


We thank the independent judging panel for their insight in selecting this year’s exciting shortlist of finalists — my co-curators and I look forward to making this year’s recipient another challenge to determine.”


Alexie Glass-Kantor, Curator Talia Linz and Curatorial Assistant Lola Pinder will undertake a series of studio visits with each of the artists as part of three months of curatorial development leading up to the exhibition. Of the nine finalists one artist will be awarded the Fellowship on the opening night of the exhibition, Wednesday 8 November, 2017.