The shortlist for SCA's top art prize

20 June 2014

Sydney College of the Arts has announced the artists shortlisted for its annual $28,000 art prize: Matthew Hopkins, Emily Hunt, Biljana Jancic, Jonny Niesche and Tony Schwensen. The 2014 prize winner will be announced at the opening of the finalists' exhibition on Wednesday 9 July at the University of Sydney's contemporary art school in Rozelle.

The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship was established in 2003 to give a recent SCA graduate the opportunity to develop their visual arts practice internationally. Past winners include leading contemporary artists Vicky Browne (2013), Mark Shorter (2012), Justene Williams (2010), Kenzee Patterson (2009), Will French (2008) and Jess MacNeil (2006).

This year, the prize is being judged by Julie Ewington, senior curator of Australian art at GOMA for many years, and SCA artists Matthys Gerber, Dr Karin Findeis, Margaret Seymour and Justin Trendall.

Matthys Gerber said: "Fauvette is an important annual prize and exhibition as it gives us a snapshot of some of the best artists in contemporary Australian art at the moment."

Performance artist Tony Schwensen has been exhibiting since 1988. He completed his PhD in 2011 on the links between Samuel Beckett and video performance. He has exhibited and performed widely — including at Kaliman Rawlins, Artspace, MONA, Barbican Gallery and ACCA — and is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery.

Jonny Niesche's practice is concerned with the cultivation and manipulation of aesthetic experiences. He completed his Master of Fine Arts in 2013; his research included a master class with Heimo Zobernig in Vienna. Recently he has exhibited in Minerva, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Artspace, Yuill Crowley and Roslyn Oxley9.

Matthew Hopkins examines the relationship between visual art, sound and music through painting, drawing, object and video. He completed his Master of Fine Arts in 2013, including a semester at Sint-Lucas Beeldende Kunst Gent, Belgium. His work has been collected by the MCA and Artbank, and recently exhibited at Gallery 9, UTS Gallery, MCA, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Gertrude Contemporary Art Space and Roslyn Oxley9.

Emily Hunt works in printmaking, watercolour, collage and ceramics. She completed a Master of Fine Arts in 2011, including a semester at Sint-Lucas Beeldende Kunst. In 2013 she studied under ceramics master Thomas Hirschler at the Center for Ceramics in Berlin. Hunt is in this year's Primavera at the MCA and is represented by The Commercial Gallery.

Biljana Jancic is interested in public and urban spaces, public art and spatial interventions. She completed her PhD in 2013. She has exhibited at I.C.A.N., Peloton, MOP, Alaska Projects, Artereal Gallery, First Draft, SNO, UTS Gallery, 55 Sydenham Rd, Gallery 4A, St Jerome's Laneway Festival and COFA Galleries.

FAUVETTE 2014, a contemporary art exhibition of recent work by the five finalists, is on show at the SCA from 10-23 July. The SCA gallery is open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays.

Event Details
When: 10-23 July (opening and winner announcement: 9 July, 6-8pm)
Where: Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, Kirkbride Way, Lilyfield (enter via Balmain Road, opposite Cecily Street)
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm

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About The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship
The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship celebrates a bequest of the late Renee Fauvette Erdos, educator and founder of the History Teachers' Association of NSW, in memory of her mother, Fauvette Loureiro. Fauvette Loureiro was the eldest daughter of Portuguese painter Arthur Loureiro (1853-1932), who came to Australia in 1885 and established an association with the Heidelberg School in Melbourne. He was actively involved in the plein air movement in Europe and Australia.