Exhibition of shortlisted artwork Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate

until 17 November, 2013

The 2013 New Lights Art Prize has been awarded to Josie Jenkins, a painter based in Liverpool. Josie, who receives the main £10,000 award, was judged to be the most exceptional with the most potential to succeed by a panel of independent judges including CBE Norman Ackyroyd, one of Britain’s most famous contemporary printmakers and coordinator of the 2013 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Annette Petchey, the driving force and chief executive behind ‘New Lights’ comments:
“The judges could see real talent in Josie’s painting and composition, and felt she would have the ability to apply her talent in a way that would enable her artistic practice to support her.“

This important award, which helps to support emerging artists in the North of England to further their creative careers, attracted entries from across the region, from Liverpool to Hull and Northumberland from young artists creating work in a wide variety of styles and media, from the ancient techniques of wood engraving and etching to paintings, illustration and mixed media. An exhibition of all the shortlisted works for ‘New Lights 2013’ is at The Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate until 17 Nov 2013.

This year’s judges, who were tasked with difficult decision of short-listing the 298 entries, were: Norman Ackroyd, one of Britain’s most famous contemporary printmakers, Jane Sellars, Curator for Art at the Mercer Art Gallery, and Chris Wadsworth, respected arts writer and lecturer.

New Lights is a charity which was formed in 2010, and this is the second time that arts patron Valeria Sykes has sponsored the main £10,000 and £2,500 awards. To encourage the art of printing Norman Ackroyd sponsored a £1,000 Norman Ackroyd Printing Prize, in addition to the Swinton Foundation Prize, Curzon Ripon Prize and the tig prize for best representational work (details of all prizewinners at the end of this release)

Annette Petchey, Chief Executive of New Lights adds:
New Lights provides vital support to young artists who are developing their creative careers. A key element of this is the opportunity for each shortlisted artist to exhibit their work in the superb setting of The Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate”.

New Lights 2013 is at The Mercer Art Gallery, Swan Road, Harrogate HG1 2SA Tel 01423 556188, from 21 Sept – 17 Nov 2013, entry is free and the gallery is open from Tues to Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 2pm to 5pm, closed Mondays except Bank Holidays (note: closes 4pm daily November to March). Visit http://www.newlights.org.uk/prize for more details.

PR contact

For press info contact Jane Redfern PR tel 07724 131179


List of 2013 Award winners

The Valeria Sykes Prize

Named after the main sponsor, which consists of:

  • A cash award of £10,000

  • Exhibition opportunities

  • Tailored mentoring scheme & 12 month Axis directory membership

Selected by judges: Norman Ackroyd / Chris Wadsworth / Jane Sellars
Awarded to Josie Jenkins http://www.josiejenkins.co.uk/index.htm
Josie studied Fine Art (painting) at Norwich School of Art and Design in 2002. She has worked as a freelance artist based in Hull and Nottinghamshire before recently settling in Liverpool. In 2011 Josie was featured in the BBC2 television series ‘Show Me the Monet’ and was selected by a panel of judges to show her work in the show’s accompanying exhibition at the Royal College of Art, London.

Judges’ comments about Josie Jenkins’ landscape:
“The mundane, discarded items convey a sense of desolation and foreboding. I would not want to walk down that lane”; “Really good technique combined with interesting subject matter”.

The Sponsor’s Choice Award.

A separate award of £2,500 chosen by our main sponsor Valeria Sykes.
Awarded to painter Diana Armstrong http://www.dianaarmstrong.co.uk/

Diana Armstrong is based in Pickering, North Yorkshire.  She graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature from King’s College London in 2004 where she was inspired to become a painter.

The Norman Ackroyd Etching Prize

An award of £1000 offered by printmaker Norman Ackroyd to the best printmaker.
Awarded to Emma Lloyd, Altringham http://creativeindustriestrafford.org/case-studies-2/emma-lloyd/

Emma combines the process of cutting paper with screen-printing techniques.

The Swinton Foundation Prize

The Swinton Foundation Prize is sponsored by Swinton Park Hotel, a luxury castle hotel in the Yorkshire Dales and includes:

  • Two nights accommodation in exchange for a piece of work inspired by the room the winner stays in

  • Commission free exhibition at Swinton Park’

  • Marketing support

Awarded to artist Christopher Hall, http://christopherhallart.wordpress.com/about/  an independent artist, a painter and filmmaker based in Leeds.

Many of his paintings begin as explorations with materials. They evolve slowly, emerging through a deliberate process of building up and taking away; obscuring and revealing. The surface is heavily worked and re-worked, sanded back; compositions are altered and other details brought out. The failings and idiosyncrasies of his method are singularly embraced; being allowed to change the course of the work, taking it in new and often unexpected directions.

tig Prize for the most outstanding representational work

  • 1,000 full colour A5 postcards

Awarded to Karolina Szymkiewicz, Leeds for work which shows great skill and sense of movement.
http://karolfulillustration.com/. Karolina graduated in September 2011 from Edinburgh College of Art with a Masters in Illustration, for which she was awarded a distinction. Not long after she moved to Leeds she is establishing herself as a freelance artist and illustrator. She comments: “My favourite medium of expression is drawing, mostly in pencil. I work in lots of different formats with a range of different subjects.

In my personal work I am inspired by the theme of dance.I have always been fascinated by the form of the human body. My Masters year was devoted largely to looking at the medium of dancing and capturing movement. I’m inspired by dance as a unique form of expression. Since its foundation in 1991, the Mercer has become one of the region’s most popular galleries, enjoyed for the wealth, breadth and diversity of its programmes and its collections.”

Curzon Ripon Prize

Exhibition opportunities at Curzon Ripon

Awarded to artists Gina Brown and Sarah Harris
Gina Brown, Northumberland  http://www.ginabrown-artist.co.uk/ – for the cinematic quality of her work. Gina graduated from Newcastle University in 2012 where she focussed on her exploration of portraiture.

Sarah Harris, Shipley, W Yorkshire http://sarahharrisprints.co.uk/

“Through my work I aim to inspire exploration and evoke memories for the viewer. The pieces themselves consist of silk screen prints of original artwork depicting local scenes, which I hand print in limited runs. For inspiration for the imagery I draw on my experiences of growing up near Saltaire, taking day trips and walks around nearby areas.”

Biscuit Factory Foundation http://www.thebiscuitfactory.com/exhibitions/
A solo exhibition has been offered to artist Matthew Child, Warrington at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.


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