Nick Ahad on New Lights.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - ART -

THE win­ner of a new £10,000 art prize for the North will be an­nounced in Har­ro­gate next week.

The in­au­gu­ral New Lights Award is yet an­other ad­di­tion to the re­gion’s bur­geon­ing arts scene which con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength. This year, with the open­ing of The Hep­worth Wake­field, An­thony Gorm­ley’s lat­est work be­ing ex­hib­ited at Hare­wood House, a ret­ro­spec­tive of Damien Hirst in Leeds and a first show­ing out­side of Lon­don of David Hock­ney’s largest work, 2011 has proved an ex­cep­tional year for vis­ual arts in York­shire.

The Har­ro­gate-based com­pe­ti­tion is a par­tic­u­larly wel­come ad­di­tion to this scene be­cause it is look­ing to the fu­ture of the arts in­dus­try, as op­posed to cel­e­brat­ing the great work be­ing cre­ated by al­ready es­tab­lished artists.

Paint­ings by 24 North­ern artists have been short­listed for the first New Lights Award, with all the work be­ing ex­hib­ited at Har­ro­gate’s Mercer Art Gallery next Satur­day, Sept 24. There were more than 230 en­trants for the prize which was open to artists aged 23-35 who ei­ther

The New Lights Prize is aimed to en­cour­age young artists es­tab­lish their ca­reers in the North.

The bi­en­nial prize is spon­sored this year by Va­le­ria Sykes, a Wake­field born artist who still lives in the re­gion.

The Mercer Art Gallery in Har­ro­gate will stage an ex­hi­bi­tion of all the short­listed work. live or gained an arts de­gree in the North of Eng­land. The prize is the brain­child of Lon­doner An­nette Petchey, a phi­lan­thropist who now lives in York­shire. This year’s prize is spon­sored by artist Va­le­ria Sykes.

The judges are Kate Brind­ley, Di­rec­tor of Mid­dles­brough In­sti­tute of Modern Art; Paul Hob­son, Di­rec­tor of the Con­tem­po­rary Arts So­ci­ety and Wil­liam Til­lyer, a Mid­dles­bor­ough-based in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist.

Kate Brind­ley said: “It is fan­tas­tic to see such a great re­sponse and such va­ri­ety in the re­gion – there are some real gems which re­ally stood out for me.”

The win­ner of the first prize, which is £10,000 and guid­ance and men­tor­ing from a suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sional artist, will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 22.

Judges were asked to short­list the en­tries from artists they felt had the most po­ten­tial to suc­ceed pro­fes­sion­ally.

Paul Hob­son said: “It was very ex­cit­ing to see such a di­verse range of sub­mis­sions, many of which were tech­ni­cally ac­com­plished and some highly in­di­vid­ual works, tes­ti­fy­ing to the breadth of artis­tic tal­ent in the North.”

The award’s orig­i­na­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of New Lights, An­nette Petchey, said: “This is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for young painters to show­case their work to a wider au­di­ence and shows that great con­tem­po­rary art is vi­brant across the North”.

The ex­hi­bi­tion opens to the pub­lic on Septem­ber 24 and runs at the Mercer Gallery un­til Jan­uary 8.

NEW WORK: Thomas Rim­ming­ton, one of the young artists whose work will be at the Mercer Gallery .

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