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New Light

End of an Era brings New Light to Northern Art

30 January 2015 07:56


England is set to benefit from a new collection of contemporary Northern artworks thanks to Yorkshire-based charity, New Light, and a generous donation from Service to the Arts in Leeds.

SAL was looking for a worthy beneficiary for the £9,000 left in its funds after it decided to close. Having considered several proposals, the committee decided to award the money to New Light for its latest initiative: the creation of a permanent New Light Collection to showcase the finest art currently being produced in the North of England. Once established, the collection will be offered for display free of charge to public venues such as hospitals and schools in the region.

SAL was originally conceived in 1982 to promote the visual arts in Leeds and local communities, primarily through the annual Leeds Art Fair which was launched in 1983. Over the years, the charity has been instrumental in connecting practising artists with people from all walks of life, encouraging many to engage with art for the first time - an aim which also inspires New Light’s work.

Annette Petchey, CEO of New Light, said: “We are very grateful for SAL’s generous donation. We feel that the New Light Collection will perfectly complement the work we already do to celebrate the wealth of art being produced in the North today. This includes the New Light Biennial Open Prize Exhibition which will be held later this year at the Bowes Museum in County Durham. The exhibition enables us to promote the superb work being produced by Northern artists through a number of awards, including the main £10,000 Valeria Sykes Prize; and the Collection will give us the opportunity to ensure that both the winning artist and others of equal standard reach an even wider, more diverse audience across the region and further afield.”

A panel with a broad range of experience in the arts world has been set up to select work for the Collection: Annette Petchey, CEO of New Light; Emerson Mayes, Painter/Printmaker and Director of New Light; Janet Williams from Service to the Arts in Leeds; John Bell, owner of the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk and Yvette Huddleston, Arts Journalist. To reflect the SAL’s work, they will initially be looking for works from Leeds artists, including those at the start of their artistic career. The remit will then broaden to include the whole of the North of England.

It is envisaged that the Collection will be ready to be displayed in regional venues by the Spring.


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Press Contacts

Annette Petchey


Tel: 07917 183989


Liz Simmonds

Operations Co-ordinator

Tel: 07734 424524


About New Light

New Light celebrates and promotes the quality of contemporary art being produced in the North of England and supports artists working in the region primarily through a major biennial touring exhibition. This is open to all Northern artists with prizes totaling over £15,000 including 'The Valeria Sykes Award' of £10,000.

To raise the profile of Northern artists, we run a number of exhibitions and events nationwide, including an annual show in London where we showcase the work of both established artists and those at the start of their artistic career. Alongside this, we offer guidance, mentoring and professional advice.

We also run an Art for All programme which is designed to make art accessible to everyone. This includes workshops with practising artists, talks with art experts, guided viewings and school projects.

Our newest initiative is the New Light Collection, a permanent collection of art illustrating the talent and expertise of some of the best artists from the North. Offered to schools, hospitals and other community-based groups free of charge; it is also made available to corporate sponsors who would like to support arts in the North of England.

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