By Amah-Rose Abrams
The BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art has launched its new Artists’ Award: the first international biennial award judged solely by artists.
The inaugural jury is formed by Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson.
The award will go to four emerging artists, each selected by one of four judges, and each will receive £25,000 ($31,536) to create new work; a £5,000 ($6,309) artists’ fee; and a 13 week exhibition at BALTIC in Gateshead, England.
“The award does not impose any restrictions on age, media or nationality, instead BALTIC’s ambition is to offer all four nominated artists an unparalleled, step change opportunity to make a significant new presentation with mentoring from some of the most exciting and experienced contemporary artists today,” BALTIC director Sarah Munro said in a statement.
“At the core of this project is not an award ceremony but a commitment to talent development and dialogue with our audiences at a local, national, and international level,” she added.
The judges are being asked to select an artist who they believe shows promise and is deserving of an international platform at this time in their careers.
“It is often crucial for an artist to have support as they develop throughout their career, and the BALTIC Award will encourage a significant dialogue between artists thinking and talking about what art really is,” Bonvicini said in a statement. “The opportunity for a rising artist to create a commission for an international institution makes this an exceptional program.”
The artists chosen will not only receive the substantial prize, they will also be mentored by the judge/artist who has selected them, while making new work for the exhibition they are given as part of the award.
“Opportunities for less well known artists to develop and execute a significant commission are rare, especially for those not within a certain accepted and validated grouping,” artist Mike Nelson said in a statement. “This coupled with the visibility of an international institution such as BALTIC, and its potential audience, makes it a very special moment for all involved, including the people of Gateshead and Newcastle themselves.”
The BALTIC Artists’ Award exhibition will open on June 30, 2017.