Finalists announced for Australia’s first digital billboard art competition

The inaugural Fivex Art Prize offers up a total prize pool of $35,000, with the artists’ work displayed across two massive LED billboards in Melbourne’s CBD.
Finalists announced for Australia’s first digital billboard art competition Finalists of the Fivex Art Prize will have their artworks displayed on QMS Media digital billboards at the intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets in Melbourne. Image: Phi Do, Move In All Directions (2020), detail, courtesy of the artist.
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Sabine Brix

Wednesday 4 March, 2020

UPDATE: Fivex Art Prize – COVID-19 Statement

The Fivex Foundation is committed to supporting the wider efforts to contain COVID-19. As a precautionary measure, we have decided to postpone the launch event and exhibition of the inaugural Fivex Art Prize until further notice. In the meanwhile, please visit our website to preview the finalists’ wonderful artworks, and follow our social media for updates. We thank you for your understanding and ongoing interest. We wish everyone well during this challenging time. www.fivexartprize.com.au

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Six lucky artists will soon see their work displayed at one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections thanks to the inaugural Fivex Art Prize. The winning artist will take home $30,000 and the five runners-up $1000 each, in addition to having their work showcased on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets.

The response to the inaugural competition has surpassed the expectations of its organisers. More than 500 applicants entered the prize which closed in mid February and attracted practitioners from a wide range of creative and cultural backgrounds from all around Australia. 

‘We’re delighted to have received entries from such a diverse field of artists including several Australian Indigenous artists. The generally high standard and stylistic diversity of artworks certainly presented the judging panel with a rigorous challenge,’ said Alessio Cavallaro, Creative Producer of the Fivex Art Prize. 

‘We thank all the participating artists, and congratulate the six finalists: Magdalene Carmen (VIC), Catherine Clover (VIC), Phi Do (VIC), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Daniel Kotsimbos (VIC), and Kent Morris (VIC).'

With the tagline ‘billboard art reimagined,’ the unique competition gives creatives an opportunity to make a large-scale public artwork. The finalists’ works will be exhibited on the billboards from 30 March until 3 May.

Read: Billboard art reimagined: the new prize taking creativity to the streets

Entrants were asked to create a work for two digital billboards – a horizontal corner ‘wrap’, and an adjacent vertical ‘podium’ – that is conceptually related across both sites. The winning work and selected finalists will be individually showcased at designated intervals among commercial media content, and also presented in occasional group spots without advertising.

Entries ranged across numerous artforms, including photomedia, design, illustration, collage, data visualisation, and pencil drawings, and covered social, political and environmental themes in playful, provocative and subtle ways. The judging panel was comprised of distinguished figures from the fields of art and media.

‘Artists have embraced the Fivex challenge and, typically, applied their creative thinking for a different kind of exhibition context, billboards set within a visually dynamic, bustling streetscape,’ Cavallaro said, adding ‘The artists eagerly stepped outside the calm confines of the White Cube.’ 

‘Another key aim of the Fivex Art Prize is to raise public awareness for art in a public space. The prize is a catalyst for a new sub-genre of street art to evolve, akin to graffiti art in laneways.’

For those who missed out on entering their work this year, Cavallaro said there’ll be plenty more opportunities to come.
‘Fivex is extremely pleased to present this new form of engagement for both artists and audiences. Planning is already underway for the prize in 2021, with some exciting developments to be announced soon,’ he said. 

The winner of the $30,000 first prize will be announced on Monday 30 March. All of the finalists’ artworks will be showcased on billboards in the heart of Melbourne's CBD from Monday 30 March until Sunday 3rd May 2020.

Visit the Fivex Art Prize for more information.

Conceived and presented by the Fivex Foundation, the Fivex Art Prize is supported by QMS Media, Australia’s leading premium digital billboard company. 

About the author

Sabine Brix is a writer, editor, podcaster and electronic musician with a specific interest in personal storytelling that captures the essence of why people create. She was the former Online Content Producer at Archer Magazine and editor of the LGBTI website Gay News Network.

She has produced sound art for BBC's Radio4  and composed music for the web series Starting From Now, which screened on SBS. Her debut EP is forthcoming through Parfé Records.

Follow Sabine on Twitter @sabinebrix