Australia’s best artists shortlisted for inaugural Footscray Art Prize

Just over 140 works from across Australia have been shortlisted for the inaugural Footscray Art Prize from more than 800 entries.
The Prize is a unique collaboration between Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Rotary Club of Footscray with prize money totalling $17,500.

In addition to the Main Prize, there are three other categories; the Street Art Prize sponsored by Cheaper Buy Miles, the Tertiary Art Prize sponsored by Footscray Plaza, and the Young Artists Prizes for entrants 13-17 years and 12 years and under sponsored by the Rotary Club of Footscray.

The judging panel comprises some of Australia’s premier artists and gallery curators: Jason Smith, Director of Geelong Gallery; Beverly Knight, Executive Director Alcaston Gallery; internationally acclaimed Australian artist Reko Rennie; and Richard Ennis, Curator of the Incinerator Gallery in Moonee Ponds.

The panel conducted a blind shortlisting to select the works spanning photography, video, paintings, sculpture and street art. In addition, creative producer Simon Spain will judge the Young Artists Prizes.

Judge Jason Smith said the panel were moved and inspired by the range of work submitted.

“The sheer volume, diversity and exceptional merit of artists’ submissions made the shortlisting process a challenging one, some of the works generated lively discussion! We were really struck by the artists’ images of, and connections to, community and their locality.

“There is a strong representation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and as we did not have to consider any particular theme, each work had to speak for itself. 

“We were moved and inspired by many artists whose work strongly reflects identity and social diversity; the relentless change of our urban environment; celebration but loss of familiar places in the name of progress and expansion; and the sheer intensity of human experience in a volatile world. As judges we looked for works that were rich in ideas and technically excellent in execution.”

Entrants are as diverse as they are talented; including renowned Australian photographer Jeremy Blincoe, nationally accredited taxidermy artist Julia DeVille and Robert Fielding, an award-winning multidisciplinary artist working in Mimili, a remote Aboriginal community in South Australia.

New comer Mohsen Meysami’s work draws on his early life experiences in the Iraq-Iran war through intricate bead work, and local artist Jody Haines invites viewers to move past their own personal prejudices and meet the ‘other’ face to face.

The winners will be announced on 25 May at the opening of the exhibition showcase of the shortlisted artists.

The exhibition will be held at three locations throughout the local area: Footscray Community Arts Centre 26 May – 24 June (Main Prize), VU at MetroWest 26 May – 17 June (Tertiary Prize and Young Artists), and various street locations in central Footscray (Street Art Prize).  

The Footscray Art Prize has a total value of $17,500 - categories include the Main Prize ($10,000), the Street Art Prize ($5,000), Tertiary Art Prize ($1,500), and Young Artists Prizes for entrants 13-18 years ($500) and 12 years and under ($500).

For shorlisted works see


Angus' Message, 31 March 2016

Dear Rotarians and Friends,

I hope you have all had an enjoyable Easter break and your batteries are recharged to take on the next day of your life.

Due to a wedding invitation, Kathy and I ventured west to the beautiful south western area of Western Australia, in particular the Margaret River and Bunbury district. It is truly a beautiful part of Australia. As most of you wine drinkers know. this area is famous for its wine and wineries, surfing beaches and fishing. Cave Road is the spine of this region and is a truly beautiful scenic road. The Kari Forest is awe inspiring and a must see experience.

We stayed at a Grand Old Hotel in Bunbury, The Rose, an art deco masterpiece. It was like a time warp seeing some of the past technologies like the old switchboard and cash register. One sign inside the Hotel caught my eye and I don’t know how it came to be but I thought of Rotary and our members on reading it – “The World is My Country, To do good is My Religion’. I thought that saying sums up what the Rotary ideals are all about.

Rotarians can never retire as there is so much to achieve. New problems and catastrophes emerge every day of our lives. Now that we have just about achieved the eradication of polio, we now look for a new battlefront. Locally we have the drug problem and addiction which is a hard battle to win. It can only be won by the addict wanting to change for the better but that is not always the case. Our goals are full to the brim with addiction and crime and that does not only include drug related crime.

So we as Rotarians are continually in demand for some purpose or problem and it’s nice to know that giving our time and helping out is part of our timetable.

So to all my Footscray Rotarians I salute you for giving your time and energy to our never ending projects.

Have a great week.

Kind Regards,
Angus Scott-Walker President
Rotary Club of Footscray

Angus' Message, 24 March 2016

Dear Rotarians and Friends

Well we’ve gone from very hot March days to very cold March days, and January and February day temperatures have broken records. We have to have concerns of how these record temperatures are impacting on all aspects of our planet. World population growth and the continuing demand and use of fossil fuels have no doubt combined to play a role in our predicament. How have you as an individual made a difference? As much as we may not like bikes on our roads, we are going to have to get used to the bike as an alternative means of transport. It will improve our fitness and may get us to work quicker in peak hour than the car.

We have been asked to make a contribution to an initiative of The Rotary Club of Keilor via David Burke, who wants to finance a trip for 105 students and 20 teachers from The Wycheproof P12 School to the Healesville Sanctuary for an educational excursion. I have had previous experience with the Buloke Shire and the local farmers are going through desperate times with the lack of rain, which has resulted in the work and money they have put into their soil for a gain of zilch.

I would like to see Rotary doing more for the local Australians. They work hard to provide us with food, so I for one would back this cause and give some school children an educational excursion (some of them have never been to a zoo).

We have two new members to induct next week (after Easter) so let’s keep the ball rolling and get a least three new members before the end of my presidential’s achievable.

I will be absent from this week’s very informal lunch meeting with no guest speaker, as I will be in Perth for a wedding, so make the most of a friendship get together.

Best Wishes for a great Easter break.

Your President

Angus Scott-Walker

Angus' Message, 17 March 2016

Dear Rotarians and Friends

The long weekend was District’s 9800 Bendigo Conference weekend and if you didn’t make it, you missed some great speakers.

Julie Mason and her team are to be congratulated for putting on the event. The weather was beaut, the speakers as I said were outstanding and the venue, ‘The Ulumbarra Theatre Complex’, was superb. Thank you Julie, you can now slow down a notch or three and enjoy the next final three months of your Presidency with the conference now behind you.

Our very own Allan Warrener did a magnificent job at the break-out session demonstrating and speaking about his research and practice on ‘Peak Performance Enjoyment & Wellbeing’. We sold a number of books at the Conference, however, it was a pity that Allan did not address the full house of 900 delegates as I thought would be the case. As a result we did not sell as many books as Allan had hoped. I am so proud of Allan’s presentation and the way he had his audience spellbound.

Next year’s Conference will be at Shepparton.

The major future Rotary Project now that polio has been conquered will be water and the provision of clean drinkable water. A wonderful challenge in view of the never ending expansion of the human population and the demands made on our precious water resources.

On the Monday following the Conference, as our Club’s attendees made their way back to Melbourne, a detour was taken to Fryerstown to Graeme and Joy Thompson’s little bush retreat for a delicious lunch. It was a lovely gesture by Graeme and Joy and was very much appreciated by all.

In conversations with our President Elect, Elia, I think we will be seeing some watershed ideas being put to the members, but I will leave the glory to Elia when he takes my baton.

Have a great week.

Kind Regards,
Angus Scott-Walker President
Rotary Club of Footscray

Angus' Message, 10 March 2016

Greetings Rotarians and Friends

A great week we had... and another great week ahead.

On Thursday evening, our guest speaker, Past President Peter McGrath, enlightened us with his very interesting Rotary past. I could imagine him as Rotary Jungle Jim, with his machete hacking through the jungle with one hundred native women following him with their sheets of corrugated iron on their heads, whilst he lead them into a more opportune lifestyle. I can only imagine a colourbond ad with that scenario! How about one of the local females giving his red beard a tug because she had never seen red hair before!

Rotary has given Peter opportunities and travel experiences that have enriched his life. Much of what once was and what was achieved by our Rotarians, is nowadays so much more dangerous to do. I feel sorry for the nationals who miss out on this humanitarian aid. Thanks Peter for sharing your experiences with us all.

Back to now. On Sunday Ron Hunt, Jama Farah, Kevin Field, Suzanne Zammit, Graeme Thompson and myself acquainted ourselves with sausage cooking and business enterprises. We met at the Doug Mills Reserve to cater for the Walk West Charity Walk/Run Event. Whilst we did sell a few sausages, we would have liked to see more for the time and effort everyone put in, especially the fund raising guru Ron, and I know how much extra work is involved in the preparation. Ron you are a gift to the World.

News is out that the Victorian University Art Show is to be rescheduled to next year – Our Club’s 80th birthday year, as this year’s schedule date clashes with the Newport Substation Art Show.

We are just days away from our Bendigo Conference. Allan Warnerer is all hyped up to give his talk to the flock and if we can sell enough of his books, we will be filling our cash reserves up.

Julie Mason and her team have put so much time and work into giving us a great Conference this weekend. Thank you Julie and your helpers.

Finally next week’s Board Meeting is being postponed until the following Monday the 21st March as the 14th is a public holiday.

Enjoy the week ahead and hug someone you love every day.

Angus Scott-Walker President
Rotary Club of Footscray