Call for entries for prestigious Northern art prize exhibition opens in February

Joanne Whittle won  a New Light  prize with Sorrowing ClothJoanne Whittle won  a New Light  prize with Sorrowing Cloth
Joanne Whittle won a New Light prize with Sorrowing Cloth
An open exhibition which aims to shine a light on Northern artists will open its submission window for artists on February 1.

for more information on how to enter:

The New Light Prize Exhibition, established in 2011, has become one of the UK’s largest and most talked about open touring exhibitions and offers some of the region’s best awards and opportunities.

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It has in the past featured work by artists such as Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, Anne Desmet RA, Maxwell Doig, Mark Demsteader, Christopher Cook, Mandy Payne, James Naughton and Jo Taylor.

The launch exhibition featuring all the artworks shortlisted for awards will open at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead in September before embarking on its biggest-ever tour to London’s Bankside Gallery, the Rheged Gallery in Penrith, the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, and finishing at The Mercer Gallery in Harrogate at Christmas 2024.

Artists who were born, live, or have studied in one of the historic counties of the North of England can submit their work between February 1 and April 30 online.

Judging will take place in May to July with a panel comprising Olivia Heron, curator of the Whitworth Gallery; Matthew Hall, director of Panter and Hall, London; Nan Perell, New York collector specialising in contemporary British paintings; Mark Demsteader, renowned figurative artist and Rebekah Tadd, development director of New Light Art.

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The winners of the competition will be announced at an awards ceremony and launch at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum on September 29.

The prizes are:

The £10,000 New Light Valeria Sykes Award: open to all artists over 18 with a connection to the North of England, whether through birth, degree level study or residence.

The £2,500 New Light Patron’s Choice Award: presented on the night of the private view: all exhibited works are considered.

The New Light Emerging Artists Prize sponsored by The Saul Hay Gallery: offering mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities including a solo show.

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The New Light Printmakers’ Prize sponsored by the Zillah Bell Gallery: all forms of original printmaking are eligible; the winner will be offered a solo exhibition at the Zillah Bell Gallery, host to some of the UK’s best printmakers’ shows.

The New Light Visitors’ Choice Award: visitors are asked to vote for their favourite work at each venue.

New Light Purchase Prize: the winner’s work is purchased by the charity to add to its Collection.

Rebekah Tadd, development director at New Light, said: "At this time of financial uncertainty, hot on the heels of the Covid restrictions, it is more important than ever to support Northern artists by providing opportunities to exhibit their work.

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"The 2023/24 New Light Prize Exhibition will open in Merseyside for the first time. We are delighted to be working with the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum team to create a fabulous launch and awards ceremony."

Sheffield-based artist Joanne Whittle, who won the Valeria Sykes Award in 2021 for her oil-on-copper painting Sorrowing Cloth, said: “Winning the award allowed me time and space to reflect on and develop my practice. This was invaluable.”

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