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8:18 AM 3rd September 2020

New Light Prize Exhibition Opens At Scarborough Art Gallery

A leading art prize exhibition showcasing the work of contemporary Northern artists opens at Scarborough Art Gallery later this month.

Day Dreamer by Abigail Rooney
Day Dreamer by Abigail Rooney
New Light, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, can be seen at Scarborough Art Gallery from Saturday 19 September 2020 to Sunday 17 January 2021, and will feature the work of over 100 artists.

Visitors can see artworks ranging from the hyperreal to the purely abstract across a range of media by artists at all stages of their career.

Rebekah Tadd, New Light Development Director, says: "We’re delighted by the positive reception to the New Light Prize Exhibition. It’s one of the few open art competitions able to continue this year due to its predominantly online nature and the collaboration of our partner galleries.

Abi by Neil HelyardAbi by Neil Helyard
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Behind the Doll Paint by Catherine McDiarmidBehind the Doll Paint by Catherine McDiarmid
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Seeing by Linnett RubayaSeeing by Linnett Rubaya


“With over 2,000 entries, the judges had a tremendous challenge. Their shortlist features 125 artworks from 105 of the most talented artists in the UK, making this our biggest exhibition ever and giving a unique insight into contemporary Northern art.

"The pandemic has presented huge challenges and hardships to the whole of the UK and particular challenges for the art world. We’re very fortunate that Scarborough Art Gallery was the first gallery in the country to devise a Covid-secure visitor experience, enabling us to open the exhibition to the public whilst operating within government guidelines.

“In order to make the exhibition available to those unable to attend the gallery in person, we’re working to ensure that we share as much as possible through online sources. We aim to enhance visitor enjoyment by providing as much information as possible about the artists and their work to enable them to make informed decisions if they wish to purchase art work."

Salmon Fishing On London Bridge by Norman Long
Salmon Fishing On London Bridge by Norman Long
Simon Hedges, Head of Curation, Collections and Exhibitions at Scarborough Museums Trust, says: “This brilliant exhibition will showcase a wide range of media and styles from a diverse range of artists at all stages of their careers. The very essence of the North shines through the unique qualities of our region's artists and the physical as well as notional spaces they occupy.”

The New Light Prize Exhibition is open to artists who were born, live, or have studied in one of the historic counties of the North of England (Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Westmorland, County Durham and Northumbria).

Shortlisting took place over the summer, with a panel comprising printmaker and artist Anne Desmet RA; RA Magazine editor Sam Phillips; Huddersfield Art Gallery curator Grant Scanlan, and New Light chair Annette Petchey.

Annette Petchey says: “The calibre of work being produced by the region’s artists has, once again, underlined the wealth of talent the North of England attracts and nurtures. While the very high standard made the judging task incredibly difficult, it also affirmed the rationale for the New Light Prize.”

Spilled Sunlight by Cat Moore
Spilled Sunlight by Cat Moore
The winners of the competition will be announced at a private view at Scarborough Art Gallery on Friday 18 September.

Prizes include the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award, open to all artists over 18 with a connection to the North of England and the £2,500 Patron’s Choice Award, presented on the night of the private view.

The New Light Prize Exhibition will be at Scarborough Art Gallery before moving on to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, and culminating in London at The Bankside Gallery.

Established in 2010, New Light celebrates and promotes both well-known and emerging artists by offering some of the region’s best awards and opportunities with the biennial new Light Prize Exhibition, fast becoming one of the UK’s largest and most talked-about open exhibitions.

Storm Past by Neil Bousfield
Storm Past by Neil Bousfield
It also runs New Light Art for All, an education programme which includes talks, workshops and school projects, and the New Light Collection, which will be launched in spring 2021 and which aims to make the best in Northern visual arts available to more people, by loaning pieces free of charge to public bodies and charities.

The common thread 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 who are passionate about the visual arts in the North of England. It relies entirely on donations and sponsorship.

For further information on New Light: newlight-art.org.uk