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John Truscott Artist Award

As a former Artistic Director of Melbourne International Festival of the Arts (the precursor to RISING), we are delighted to honour John Truscott’s commitment to Melbourne and his legacy of celebrating the city by partnering with the John Truscott Foundation to present the inaugural John Truscott Artists Award.

The award celebrates John’s innovative design, inclusive festival programming and appetite for artistic risk. It is to be awarded to a RISING festival artist or small artistic group at the end of the festival.

The shortlisted works in 2023 were:

The joint winners for 2023 were:

About John Truscott

“I want people to understand the way the arts can colour their lives and elevate their spirits, how art is essential to life.”

        —John Truscott, 1936—1993

Theatre designer, Academy Award winning film designer and festival director, John Truscott changed both the way Melbourne saw itself and the way the rest of the world viewed Melbourne. As artistic director of the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, he took the festival out into the streets, parks and laneways of the city transforming them into splendid, celebratory spaces that had all of Melbourne seeing them in an entirely new light. Previously John had spent four years designing the spectacular interior finishes of the Victorian Arts Centre and in the process drawing together a remarkable collection of celebrated artists and fine artisans from around the country to realise his ambitious plans.

John honed his skills as a theatre designer, first in Melbourne winning numerous awards and then in London, after which, at the invitation of Jack L. Warner he left for Hollywood. He spent the next fourteen years in America where he won two Academy Awards for art direction and costume design for Camelot starring Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Harris and Franco Nero and was production designer on Paint Your Wagon starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.

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