ENCOURAGING NEW TALENT
Nick Ahad on New Lights.
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 .