FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Talented Yorkshire artists are leading the way in the call for entries, as the North prepares for its most prestigious open art exhibition at The Bowes Museum in County Durham. Specifically for northern artists, the 3rd biennial Prize Exhibition mounted by New Light looks likely to be the most exciting yet thanks to a decision to remove the upper age limit that prohibited some of the best artists from applying. All artists from the North of England are now eligible, with entries already received from Cleveland, County Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire.
In its bid to find the best contemporary northern artists working today, New Light is offering a number of lucrative prizes, including the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award, and a series of exciting exhibition opportunities. After the Bowes Museum (often referred to as the V&A of the North), the exhibition will move to the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and finally to London.
To be eligible for entry, an artist must have been born or be currently living in the North of England or have studied at degree or postgraduate level in the North. Commenting on her commitment to northern art, New Light's Annette Petchey said: "New Light was set up to celebrate the fantastic art being produced in the North as we felt it did not get the recognition it deserved. The number of entries for this year's Prize Exhibition have already exceeded previous years' and the quality of the artwork submitted proves that the northern art scene is definitely alive and kicking. So far, the Yorkshire artists are pipping their Lancashire neighbours to the post with the majority of entries, while Northumberland is sitting in third place; we are now throwing down the gauntlet to some of the smaller northern counties to match their larger cousins." Artists are invited to submit wall hung work in a wide range of media including prints, drawing and painting, but excluding photography, digital imagery and work requiring an external power source.
In addition to the Valeria Sykes Prize, there is a Patron’s Choice Award of £2,500; The Swinton Foundation Prize for an emerging artist offering mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities; and a Printmaker’s Prize. Visitors to the exhibition will also be asked to vote for their favourite work which will receive the Visitors’ Choice Award.
Liverpool-based Josie Jenkins, winner of the Valeria Sykes Award at the last New Light Prize Exhibition, said: “Winning the Valeria Sykes Award has changed my life from many perspectives. Most significantly, it gave me the freedom to leave my job and really focus on my artistic practice and it also helped me fund a residency in China resulting in a solo exhibition at the Chinese European Art Center in Xiamen."
This year’s judges include Leeds-born artist Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, one of Britain’s most respected contemporary printmakers; The Lord Crathorne KCVO Kst J FSA LLD, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Arts & Heritage Group; Laura Gascoigne, art reviewer for The Spectator; Matthew Hall, owner of Panter & Hall Fine Art Gallery; and Annette Petchey, CEO of New Light. They will draw up a shortlist from the submitted entries, with the works they select being displayed at the Bowes Museum from October 17 until February 7, 2016. Final judging will take place on October 16, with the prizes being announced at the exhibition preview that evening.
When asked about the removal of the upper age limit, Annette Petchey commented: “We "cut our teeth" on the emerging talent in the region but now we have decided to open up the Prize Exhibition to all artists, whatever stage they are at in their career. We believe the three Prize Exhibition venues deserve the best there is - and we’re looking forward to showing them just that."
The deadline for entries is 5pm on 31 July and artists must be over 18 years of age on that date to apply. There is an entry fee of £15. Full details and the entry form can be found at www.newlight-art.org.uk. Artists can also keep up-to-date via Twitter @newlightart and www.facebook.com/NewLightArt
Photograph shows Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, one of this year's judges at the New Light Prize Exhibition.
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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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