The biennial art award recognises Australian contemporary artists under 40 working across any medium.
Dr Fragar’s oil painting, Goose Chase: All of Us Together Here and Nowhere, won the popular prize and has been acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia.
“I am blown away by the support I’ve received – to be selected as the people’s favourite from an exhibition of such high-quality works and artists is an honour,” she said.
“The money will help keep my practice going, but more than that, it is about recognition from those you respect and a great opportunity to network with artists from around Australia.”
This year’s judging panel consisted of Rhana Devenport, Director of the Auckland Art Gallery, contemporary Australian Artist Nell, and Leigh Robb, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of South Australia.
Dr Fragar was one of 21 finalists, selected from more than 450 entries from across the country, including paintings, photography, video and interactive works.
Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Nick Mitzevich, said the People’s choice winner demonstrated how adventurous exhibition visitors were.
“This painting is not a straightforward representation, it is materially and conceptually layered and has obviously struck a chord with people because of its great technical prowess and its sense of mystery,” he said.
Queensland College of Art Director Professor Derrick Cherrie congratulated Dr Fragar on the prize.
“This new national award attracted some of the country’s best artists,” he said.
“Julie’s richly layered, complex work obviously struck a chord, and will be an asset to the gallery’s collection.
“Our students are lucky to be mentored by nationally recognised practicing artists.”