AUSTRALIA’S longest running hot glass studio, the JamFactory in South Australia, has this week announced a new non-acquisitive biennial award, recognising Australia and New Zealand's leading glass artists.
The new FUSE Glass Prize will become Australasia's richest prize for glass artists, with the winning entry set to receive a cash prize of AU$20,000.
JamFactory CEO Brian Parkes said the FUSE Glass Award would help fill the gap left by the Australia and New Zealand Ranamok Prize for Contemporary Glass, which after running for 20 years, came to an end in 2014.
"We felt that there was a very good opportunity for the JamFactory to fill that space and reinforce the great strengths that we have in the region.
"Awards like this can help to push people to produce more ambitious and innovative pieces, and shine a light on people who are doing things in new ways," he said.
The FUSE Glass Prize will seek to recognise new and emerging talent in the industry, with a second cash prize of AU$2500, in addition to a professional development residency at the JamFactory in Adelaide.
A number of private donors have collaborated with the JamFactory to make the awards possible, including founding donors Jim and Helen Carreker.
Parkes has already secured a world class panel of judges for the inaugural year of the award, including Tina Oldknow, senior curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass, at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York and Dr Robert Bell, senior curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia.
The JamFactory will be accepting the first entries for the FUSE Glass Prize from 1 February through to 11 March, next year.
The first winners of the prize will be announced in Adelaide on Thursday, 12 May, 2016.
"We're very confident we will attract some of the best artists working in the field of glass, in the two countries.
"And the winners are going to be of great interest to the public, but also private collectors and that sector of the arts, so it becomes a great boost to their careers," said Parkes.
The works of 10 established and five emerging artists will be exhibited at the JamFactory in Adelaide from 13 May - 2 July, and subsequently at the JamFactory in Seppeltsfield, in the Barossa Valley, until 18 September, 2016.