Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award

The Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (SMFACA) celebrates and promotes contemporary Australian artists working in the ceramic medium. With $50,000 in prize money, the SMFACA cements its place as the premier Australian acquisitive ceramic art award.

Exhibition runs Saturday 17 June to Sunday 13 August 2017.


Five exciting artists are presenting new bodies of work as part of the 2017 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (SMFACA) at SAM. This year’s exhibition supports the rich, vibrant and diverse use of the ceramic medium, and includes the work of contemporary artists Glenn Barkley, Karen Black, Laith McGregor, Jenny Orchard and Yasmin Smith.

SAM’s SMFACA is the premier national award for Australian artists working in ceramics with a $50,000 prize acquisition awarded to one of the artists on the opening night of Saturday 17 June 2017. This year’s winner was Jenny Orchard, for her work, The Imagined Possibility of Unity (2017). Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of public programs and floor talks which you can read about here.

The 2017 Award was judged by Jacqueline Doughty, Curatorial Manager, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne; Jason Smith, Director, Geelong Art Gallery; and Dr Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum.

Opening – Saturday 17 June, 4 to 6pm. Exhibition runs Saturday 17 June to Sunday 13 August.

Public programs

Sat 17 June, 3 to 4pm - Celebrating the 2017 SMFACA: In Conversation with Glenn Barkley, Karen Black and Laith McGregor. Free, but please RSVP here. **PAST EVENT**

Sun 18 June, 1.30 to 3.30pm - Chemistry 101: Glaze-Making Workshop with Yasmin Smith. **SOLD OUT** **PAST EVENT**

Sat 8 July, 11am to 3pm, Gardens and Garniture: Walking Tour and Clay Workshop with Glenn Barkley. $12 (Friends of SAM $10). **SOLD OUT**

Sun 9 July, 1 to 3pm, Chatting Away: In Conversation with Glenn Barkley. $12 (Friends of SAM $10). **CANCELLED**

HISTORY OF THE AWARD

The SMFACA is a major national Award and has evolved over its many year history. It began in 1991 as the Sidney Myer Fund Australia Day Ceramic Award, and evolved into the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramic Art Award in 1997, with the aim of providing an unprecedented opportunity for a major international ceramic award and exhibition in Australia. In 2009, SAM reviewed the Award, and it returned to a format that showcases and supports contemporary Australian artists. 

The Award now celebrates and promotes contemporary Australian artists working in the ceramic medium. With ceramics increasingly utilised by a number of emerging and established contemporary artists, as recent exhibitions such as the 2016 Adelaide Biennial reflected, the possibilities for the medium has significantly expanded. So too have the ideas and themes examined by the artists through this medium. 

Information for International Applicants

We regret to inform international artists that the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award is now only open to Australian artists. We are grateful to previous participants of the SMFACA, and hope you will stay engaged with the outcomes of the Award.

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