2020 New Light Prize Exhibition to go ahead with end of May deadline for entries

Sir Tom Courtenay, by Isobel Peachey, an entry for a past New Light Prize Exhibition

THE New Light Prize Exhibition has been given the green light for 2020.

Turning the spotlight on northern art, this prestigious biennial event will be held this autumn, despite the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced many arts organisations into temporary closure. 

Rebekah Tadd, development director at New Light, says: “We’re very fortunate that the way our exhibition is organised means we’re able to go ahead as planned.

“The submissions process all takes place online – artists are invited to submit their works via our website by May 31 – and the judging process takes place online during the summer.

“The physical exhibition, which launches at Scarborough Art Gallery before going on tour to Carlisle, Newcastle and London, isn’t until mid-September, so we hope that, by then, we can go ahead without any changes.”

Andrew Clay: Chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, the exhibition will start at Scarborough Art Gallery for the first time, running there from September 19 to January 10 2021.

Andrew Clay, chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust, says: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the New Light Prize Exhibition to Scarborough Art Gallery.

“This exhibition’s policy of shining new light on northern artists is one we firmly believe in, so we’re thrilled to be involved and to able to support in this way.”

Artists who were born, live or have studied in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Westmoreland, County Durham and Northumbria can submit their work online at: newlight-art.org.uk/prize-exhibition/all-you-need-to-know/.

Judging this summer will be done by a panel of Royal Academy printmaker and artist Anne Desmet; RA Magazine editor Sam Phillips; Huddersfield Art Gallery curator Grant Scanlan and New Light chair Annette Petchey.

Scarborough Art Gallery, where the 2020 New Light Prize Exhibition will be launched in September. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

The prize winners will be announced at a private view at Scarborough Art Gallery on Friday, September 18.

Those prizes are:

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

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

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

The Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize: all forms of original printmaking are eligible; the winner will be offered a solo exhibition at the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk.

The Visitors’ Choice Award: visitors are asked to vote for their favourite work.

New Light Purchase Prize: the selected work is purchased by the charity to add to its collection.

Caravan Of Love, oil on canvas, by Christopher Campbell, an entry for a past New Light Prize Exhibition

The New Light Prize Exhibition will move on from Scarborough to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, and finally The Bankside Gallery, London.

Established in 2010, New Light runs not only the biennial open exhibition for established and emerging artists, but also the New Light Art For All education programme of talks, workshops and school projects.

This spring, the New Light Collection is being launched with the aim of making “the best in northern visual arts” available to more people by loaning pieces, free of charge, to public bodies and charities.

The common thread that runs through everything New Light does is a “deep belief that the visual arts matter and the north of England deserves to be celebrated”.

New Light is run by a dedicated group of people with a passion for northern art and relies entirely on donations and sponsorship. For more information, go to newlight-art.org.uk.