The pioneering art charity New Light, set up to support talented contemporary artists in the North of England, is pleased to announce that its Prize Exhibition is coming to The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate – where New Light was first launched in 2011 – from 20 February – 12 June 2016. The exhibition shows alongside a solo show of work by much – loved Yorkshire artist Tom Wood, who is also one of the shortlisted artists in the New Light Prize Exhibition.
The biennial New Light Prize Exhibition is the largest open prize dedicated to art from the Northern regions. It recognises and rewards the skills of talented artists in the North, offering the region’s best prizes and exhibition opportunities. It is open to all artists who were born, studied or live in one of the historical counties of the North of England. The Prize Exhibition launched at the Bowes Museum in County Durham in October 2015; the high number of sales at this first exhibition stage is testament to the impact that the New Light initiative has on artists. A selection of works from the Prize exhibition will then travel to Panter & Hall Gallery, London from 27 June – 1 July 2016.
Tom Wood’s solo show, ‘Tom Wood, New Works’, runs at the Mercer Gallery from 6 February – 19 June 2016. He remarks on his involvement in the New Light Prize Exhibition: ‘The New Light Prize Exhibition is a rare and wonderful opportunity to see a broad selection of the excellent and sometimes unexpected art being made in the North of England. Having lived and worked in Yorkshire most of my life, it's a real pleasure to see the arts flourishing and I'm extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to exhibit alongside artists I have known and respected for many years'.
Works by 61 artists have been selected for the New Light Prize Exhibition by a distinguished panel, comprising: Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, artist and organiser of the Royal Academy’s Summer  Exhibition;  The  Lord  Crathorne  KCVO  Kst  J  FSA  LLD,  Chairman  of  the  All – Party  Parliamentary Arts & Heritage Group; Laura Gascoigne, art reviewer; Matthew Hall, Co – Founder, Panter & Hall; and Annette Petchey, Chief Executive, New Light.
The artists selected for the exhibition hail from across the North, representing the counties of Co.  Durham,  Cumbria,  Lancashire,  Teesside,  Tyne  &  Wear  and  Yorkshire.  Other  exhibitors  (who were either born or studied in the North) have made the short – list from as far afield as Cornwall,  East  Anglia,  Ireland,  Glasgow  and  Carmarthenshire.  Portraiture,  landscapes  and  abstract works all made it onto the short – list with the selection including paintings, prints, sculpture and mixed media.
Prizes  worth  almost  £15,000  included  the  Valeria  Sykes  Award  of  £10,000,  which  went  to  Mandy Payne for ‘Broken Brutalism’; the Patron’s Choice Award of £2,500, which was awarded to Joshua Waterhouse  for his painting  ‘Josephine’; the Swinton Foundation Prize  for emerging artists, given to Anna Poulton for ‘Figs’; and the Printmakers’ Prize, which went to Emma Lawrenson for ‘Stone Pen’. There will also be three Visitors’ Choice Awards, which will be voted for by visitors at each of the three exhibition venues.
New Light Prize Exhibition information:
20 February – 12 June 2016
10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday; 2 – 5pm, Sunday (closes at 4 in February and March. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays)
The Mercer Art Gallery, Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SA
Admission – Free
www.harrogate.gov.uk/mercerartgallery

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