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Exhibition is breakout opportunity for Canberra’s emerging artists

By Ian Bushnell 15 July 2018 0
CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize Exhibition curator Angus McGrath. Photo: Supplied

CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize Exhibition curator Angus McGrath. Photo: Supplied.

The Capital Arts Patrons’ Organisation (CAPO) will launch the fourth annual CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize Exhibition alongside its highly regarded annual auction party on Friday 20 July at the ANU School of Art and Design’s Foyer Gallery. Part of the CAPO Curatorial Internship Award presented this year to Angus McGrath, the exhibition, titled WHY, will feature six emerging artists selected by McGrath, one of whom will take out the $500 Prize donated from the proceeds of the 2017 CAPO Auction Party.

McGrath, a 2017 graduate of the Art History and Curatorship degree, received both the award to curate this exhibition and $1,000 at the 2017 ANU School of Art Graduation Exhibition. With CAPO’s mentoring, he is assembling new works from fellow graduates Jeremy Brown, Dean Cross, Bryan Foong, Alex Hobba, Skye Jamieson, and Nyx Mathews.

After completing the CAPO Curatorial Exhibition Award, Angus will be working on another graduate prize, the EASS Canberra Grammar School Curatorial Award, and continuing his curatorial, writing, art, and sound practices.

CAPO says WHY is typified by a bold, minimal aesthetic. “Across media, an attitude and critical stance of doubt permeate the show. Some works play with function; others critique the institutions with which art makers are awkwardly obliged to engage; others focus on identity. Although these concerns may seem divergent, all the artists acknowledge and respond to the broader, absurd present in which their practice exists,” it says.

“WHY doesn’t aim towards solving the big issue of these artistic and societal uncertainties, and instead mulls in existential confusion towards the present.”

Peter Jones and Alex Martinis Roe will judge the works and announce the winner at 6:30 pm. “Works by local Canberra artists make up over a quarter of our collection of around 250 artworks, most of whom are ANU School of Art graduates,” Jones says.

“This reflects my wife Susan’s and my faith in the quality of young artists in this city. I am excited by the prospect of seeing and judging new work by recent graduates, full of strong ideas and boldly executed.”

A work by one of the emerging artists, Bryan Foong. Conflict leads to long scenes of quiet eating. 46 x 54.6 cm, acrylic, pigment, pastel, polyfilla on canvas. Photo: Supplied

A work by one of the emerging artists, Bryan Foong. Conflict leads to long scenes of quiet eating. 46 x 54.6 cm, acrylic, pigment, pastel, polyfilla on canvas. Photo: Supplied.

With the Prize in its fourth year, CAPO believes it has succeeded in providing emerging artists with their own space and their own exhibition while continuing to support the wider arts community.

It says that the ANU School of Art and Design’s integration of Art History and Curatorship within the School has given CAPO the opportunity to highlight and reward outstanding Art History graduates with the CAPO Curatorial Internship Award through the annual ANU Emerging Artists’ Support Scheme (EASS) awards.

The CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize provides emerging art historians with the opportunity to curate a professional exhibition, while showcasing the overflowing emerging talent within the Canberra region in an exclusive exhibition.

CAPO President Penny Jurkiewicz said: “The CAPO Board looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with the ANU School of Art and Design and is excited about this event curated specifically for our emerging artists.”

All artwork will be for sale during the exhibition period, which ends on Saturday 28 July.

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