Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award 2012

Kirsten Coelho, Tea Can and Oil Can, 2012

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is delighted to announce the winners of the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. With a combined prize pool of $55,000, the biennial award is one of the premier International ceramic art prizes.

The recipients of the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award Commissions are:


The calibre of submission overall, the technical expression and the considered statements provided by artists was commendable. The new format of the award presents a different challenge, requiring artists to conceive and present a whole exhibition rather than just one work. The Shepparton Art Museum appreciates the considerable effort undertaken by artists through the process of application.

Each of the winning artists will be commissioned to produce an exhibition of new work for display at SAM from 20 September to 18 November 2012. The artists will also travel to Shepparton to give presentations and run master-classes for local and visiting artists.


The Award was judged by a panel comprised of Ranti Tjan, Director of the European Ceramic Work Centre in The Netherlands; Jason Smith, Director of the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne; and Ryan Johnston, Acting Director of Shepparton Art Museum.


The three recipients of the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award exhibition were selected from the following shortlisted artists:

Emerging Australian: Arun Sharma, Antonia Throsby, Robyn Hoskins, Alexandra Standen, Ingrid Tuffs

Australian: Kirsten Coelho, Katherine Huang, Penny Byrne, Angela Valamanesh, Irianna Kanellopoulou, Kris Coad

International: Cheryl Ann Thomas (USA), Michal Fargo (Israel), Suzanne Wolfe (USA), Oliwia Beszcyska (Poland), Wee Hong Ling (USA)


Applications close Wednesday 1 February 2012
Artists advised of selection Monday 5 March 2012 (6 months to installation)
Delivery of artworks to gallery Friday 1 September 2012
Exhibition Opening Thursday 20 September 2012
Exhibition Dates 20 September 2012 to 18 November 2012
Seminar and workshops Friday 21 September & Saturday 22 September
Artworks despatched for return to artists December 2012


The Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramic Art Award in association with La Trobe University was established by Shepparton Art Museum in 1997 to provide an unprecedented opportunity for a major international ceramic award and exhibition in Australia. This bi-annual award developed from the Sidney Myer Fund Australia Day Ceramic Award, a national prize established in 1991. In 2009 the award developed again to offer better career development opportunities for Australian Ceramicists, more strategic collecting for the Art Museum and allow greater depth to the exhibition and associated publishing. This award has offered Australian audiences the opportunity to view contemporary ceramic art from around the globe for over ten years. The supporting seminar and master-class workshops provide a unique platform for cross-cultural learning and exchange.

Description of the Award Format

Entries for the new award, The Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Art Award, are now closed for both Australian and International ceramic artists.

With an expansion to $55,000 in prize monies, the new award confirms its place as the premier Australian/International acquisitive art award. With the hindsight of hosting ten international awards in its previous guise, the art museum has made a number of significant changes. These changes are intended to provide better career development opportunities for Australian ceramicists, more strategic collecting for the Art Museum, and a greater depth to the exhibition and associated publishing.

There will be three recipients of the award, each of whom will receive a significant stipend to produce a body of work for exhibition, on the understanding that the Art Museum will select one work for its collection. Costs associated with the exhibition will be borne by the Art Museum, including freight and the production of a fully illustrated catalogue. The Art Museum will also pay airfares and accommodation for recipient artists to attend the opening event and present at the associated seminar.

There will be six months between the announcement of award recipients and the delivery of works to SAM.

Recipients will be selected under the following categories;

Australian Artist AUD$25,000 (cash component)
International Artist AUD$25,000 (cash component)
*Emerging Australian AUD$5,000 (cash component)

Above represents the cash amount which artists will be awarded. However significant other expenses will also be covered.  For the International artist these equal an additional $15k and the Australian categories, and additional $7.5k each. These expenses include airfares and accommodation to attend the exhibition opening event and seminar, a solo exhibition, freight and insurance of artwork, and a detailed catalogue with essay.

*Artists applying for the Emerging Australian category must have ceramics as their primary arts practise and have been producing less than ten years. All applications for the award are to be completed online.