The 46th Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, Australia’s most prestigious and longest running print prize, will officially open at the Fremantle Arts Centre on 4 August 2023.

To celebrate the gallery’s 50th birthday, 50 emerging, established, and cross disciplinary Australian artists will present work. The Print Award presents a diverse selection of prints and artist books. Visitors can expect to view pieces ranging from small to large-scale across a range of innovative and emerging print making methods, including 3D, textile, etching, lino and wood cut, digital and screen printing.

As Australia’s richest print prize, the winner will take home $16,000 and their work will be acquired for the City of Fremantle Art Collection, the largest municipal collection in WA. Second prize receives $6,000. The winners will be announced at the exhibition opening on 4 August. Fremantle Arts Centre curator, Glenn Iseger‑Pilkington, commented the awards seek to offer a true picture of the breadth of contemporary Australian printmaking with 60% of finalists from interstate in 2023:

“We’re excited to be presenting the 46th Print Award, and to be celebrating the Fremantle Art Centre’s 50th birthday. Once again, the Print Award features works that challenge the very questions of what printmaking is in there here and now. With works from almost every state and territory, the Print Award reflects the many unique approaches to print making from all around Australia, simultaneously celebrating both tradition and innovation in an ever-expanding field of creative practice.”

The Fremantle Arts Centre Print Awards 2023 is being judged by a panel of artists and academics including Annika Kristensen: Senior Curator, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and Visual Arts Curator at Perth Festival; Timmah Ball: Writer, Artist and curator of Ballardong Noongar heritage; and Tom Mùller, Western Australian visual artist and co-founder and Artistic Director of the Fremantle Biennale.

Print Award judge, Annika Kristensen, commented the selected pieces for the exhibition will surprise and delight visitors:

“In addition to selecting individual works of quality, we kept in mind what the overall experience of the exhibition might be; selecting works of different styles, subjects and scale to create a dynamic mix of artworks that collectively represents the diversity of approaches to printmaking today – from traditional methods to more expanded understandings of the artform.”

Founded in 1976, just a few years after the establishment of the Fremantle Arts Centre, the prize was initiated as a way of attracting interstate artists and audiences to the gallery. Now in its 46th year, the Print Awards is the Fremantle Arts Centre’s longest running exhibition series and attracts entries from a huge range of established and emerging artists from across Australia.

Previous winners have included NSW performer and artist Mike Parr, Fremantle based artist Sam Bloor, and Sally Morgan, one of Australia’s best known indigenous authors and artists.

The Fremantle Arts Centre Print Awards will run from 10am-5pm, 4 August – 22 October. The official exhibition opening will take place at 6pm on 4 August.