Each year a panel of three judges consider hundreds of entries and curates an exhibition of finalists before settling upon a single winner. This year’s panel consists of Australian architect, art patron and academic Corbett Lyon, artist and educator Dr Susan Fereday, and MGA Senior Curator Stephen Zagala.
Dr Susan Fereday is an Australian artist and educator who recently returned to Adelaide after living in Germany (seven years), Vienna (two years), Paris (one year), and Melbourne (23 years).
Susan has held over 30 solo exhibitions across Australia and numerous survey exhibitions including: Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, National Gallery of Victoria (2015-16). Her work is held in private and public collections across Australia. She is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne.
Susan has been an active curator, writer and arts administrator, most notably as director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography (1992-95) and inaugural director of RMIT Gallery, Storey Hall (1996). In 1995 she won a Samstag scholarship. She has held residencies at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2001-02), and the Cité International des Arts, Paris (1996 and 2007). She completed a PhD in Fine Art at Monash University in 2010.
Corbett Lyon is a founding partner of Lyons, an architectural design practice based in Melbourne. Lyons has been the recipient of numerous national and international design awards and has exhibited at the Venice International Architectural Biennale. Lyons’ work is included in Phiadon’s Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture, Taschen's A-Z of Modern World Architecture and the Thames & Hudson monograph more - the architecture of Lyons 1996 – 2011.
Corbett is one of Australia's leading patrons, commentators and collectors of Australian contemporary art. He is a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria, a Member of the Heide Museum of Modern Art Foundation and a Member of the International Council of Museums. He lectures widely on contemporary art and on the architecture of art galleries and museums.
Corbett is an Honorary Fellow of Monash University and a Professorial Fellow and Visiting Professor in Design at the University of Melbourne.
In 2008 he designed and established the Lyon Housemuseum with his wife Yueji to display the Lyon Collection of Australian Contemporary Art and to promote Australian contemporary art practice. In 2012 Corbett Lyon established the Lyon Foundation which is currently constructing a new public art museum adjacent to the Housemuseum, opening to the public in 2018.
Stephen Zagala is Senior Curator at Monash Gallery of Art. He has been commentating on visual culture since the late 1980s, working as a teacher, reviewer, catalogue essayist, researcher and curator. With training in the disciplines of art history, philosophy and anthropology, his areas of expertise include 20th Century Australian art, the history of art theory, Pacific art and photography.